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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Medicine

Picking up one’s marbles and going home

One of the greatest gifts anyone can give is to donate his body to science after death. Such anatomic gifts contribute to the training of medical students, residents, and other medical professionals as well as being used for research that can contribute to the advancement of medical science. One of the things that makes an anatomic gift such a profound gift is that the donor usually has little control over what their body or body parts will be used for. There is, thus, more than a little trust in medical science involved in these gifts. When the deceased is a child, the donation of a child’s body or part of a child’s body to medical research is an even more amazingly generous gift. Such donations are precious gifts that are difficult enough to persuade people to give. It doesn’t take much to turn a “yes” answer into a “no.”

That’s why an article by Katie Wright at the anti-vaccine crank blog entitled Courchesne Brain Study Not Worth Sacrificing our Children Further really irritated me. Basically, Wright is saying that she used to think she would donate her child’s body to science if he were ever to die but, because she doesn’t like the result of a study that studied the brains of deceased autistic children and compared them to neurotypical controls, she’s now changed her mind:

If Christian’s deceased body could meaningfully contribute to innovative causation research, it would be very, very hard, but I would say yes and donate his body. If his brain were used to accelerate true progress I think it would be a great tribute to his spirit. I am sure most ASD parents feel the same way.

However the recent Courchesne Study made me change my mind about donating Christian’s brain to science. This study represents my nightmare, the worst-case scenario. Children’s brains have been used for politically driven poor quality science. I would rather Christian be buried with his brain intact than used for such abysmal research.


Why is the research so “abysmal”? Wright, who has no qualifications in science, proclaims it so because the results do not fit with her preconceived belief that vaccines cause autism and that her son Christian’s autism is due to “vaccine injury.” It is, in fact, a study that some of my readers sent to me when it first came out a couple of weeks ago. It just so happened to be around the time I was out of town giving a talk; so somehow it slipped through the cracks, as so many other worthy blogging topics often do because I just can’t blog about everything that is of interest to me. On the other hand, sometimes I’m given a chance to revisit one of these topics when someone like Katie Wright decides to go all full mental jacket on it.

This study was described in news articles that appeared around the time of its release, but, as always, I’ll go to the source, an article in JAMA entitled Neuron Number and Size in Prefrontal Cortex of Children With Autism. The study came out of UCSD and presents some provocative findings. It’s a preliminary study, given that it only examined the brains of 13 children, seven autistic boys and six control boys, but its results are fascinating and, best of all, hypothesis-generating. In brief, the authors obtained these brains from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank, the Autism Tissue Program at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, and the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities. As you might expect, young postmortem cases are scarce and difficult to come by for research, again, pointing to the importance of anatomical donations that Wright characterizes in this case as “sacrificing our children further” over.

Contrary to the way Wright portrays the study, which, if you believe her, was barely different from Young Frankenstein using the brain from Abby Normal, investigators were very careful to try to quantify the number of neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in both autistic and normal brains. The brains were analyzed by expert anatomists who were blinded to the group from which the brain came. The findings were simple:

Children with autism had 67% more neurons in the PFC (mean, 1.94 billion; 95% CI, 1.57-2.31) compared with control children (1.16 billion; 95% CI, 0.90-1.42; P = .002), including 79% more in DL-PFC (1.57 billion; 95% CI, 1.20-1.94 in autism cases vs 0.88 billion; 95% CI, 0.66-1.10 in controls; P = .003) and 29% more in M-PFC (0.36 billion; 95% CI, 0.33-0.40 in autism cases vs 0.28 billion; 95% CI, 0.23-0.34 in controls; P = .009). Brain weight in the autistic cases differed from normative mean weight for age by a mean of 17.6% (95% CI, 10.2%-25.0%; P = .001), while brains in controls differed by a mean of 0.2% (95% CI, −8.7% to 9.1%; P = .96). Plots of counts by weight showed autistic children had both greater total prefrontal neuron counts and brain weight for age than control children.

Leading the authors to conclude:

In this small preliminary study, brain overgrowth in males with autism involved an abnormal excess number of neurons in the PFC.

Again, this was a preliminary study with small numbers, which makes it even more surprising that a significant difference in neuronal counts was found. Considering normal variation among humans and the fact that, given the scarcity of postmortem tissue from children, it’s amazing that the investigators found anything at all. Could it be a spurious result? Sure. That’s why it needs to be confirmed with a bigger study; that is, if a bigger study can even be done. It’s also consistent with other lines of evidence implicating brain overgrowth in certain anatomic structures as being somehow related to the development of autism. What this tells us about the pathophysiology of autism remains to be seen, but it’s an intriguing observation that is likely to spur more research into the neurobiology of autism and autism spectrum disorders.

So what does Wright say about it? She doesn’t like it. Because it isn’t consistent with vaccines as a cause of autism (it being very difficult to imagine a mechanism by which vaccines could increase the number of neurons in such a manner, she’s very, very unhappy and assumes that it must be crap science:

What Couchesne’s study actually tells us is that 6 ASD children had more prefrontal cortex neurons than 7 typical children. There were no aged matched controls! 2 of the 7 “ASD” children did not even have an official ASD diagnosis! 5 of the 7 ASD kids were on anti-psychotic drugs. We have idea how these drugs affect developing brain tissue. 1 of the control children had been taking Concerta and klonopin. Another control had had an organ transplant and was on immunosuppressive drugs for lengthy periods of time. There are only 5 controls not, as far as we know, on various prescription drugs. The fact that this study was actually published only proves how low the bar is for ASD genetic and brain research. There are not enough hours this day to list all the incredible, innovative environmental research studies regularly rejected by autism research journals. A 7-person biomedical study would NEVER be published by JAMA, I promise you.

I’m not sure where Wright got the idea that two of the seven children didn’t have an ASD diagnosis. If I missed it somehow even though I read the whole paper and the online supplement, I’m sure someone will point out my mistake in the comments. The autistic cases were chosen primarily for having a diagnosis of autism, and in the text it reads:

No autism case had a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome or pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified.

As for the rest of the obfuscation that Wright throws out about antipsychotic drugs is just that: Obfuscation. There is a table in the paper that lists all the cases and controls and describes a bit about their medical background; several of the autistic children were on psychotropic medications, which is not uncommon in children with autism. I rather suspect that when Wright wrote “We have idea how these drugs affect developing brain tissue” that she in fact meant “We have no idea how these drugs affect developing brain tissue.” Assuming that’s what she meant, she’s wrong, of course. We actually have a pretty good idea how many of these drugs affect developing brain tissue. At the very least, as the authors point out, none of these drugs are known to affect the number of neurons in the PFC. In essence, Wright’s complaints are all smoke and mirrors, whines designed to cast doubt on the study. In fact, the only points she makes that are semi-reasonable is that this was a small study (which the authors concede multiple times in the paper, pointing out that it is a preliminary study) and that maybe the criticism that including the child who had had cancer and a multiorgan transplant in the control group might not have been the best choice, given the chemotherapy treatment and immunosuppressive medications the child was on.

Not surprisingly, Wright doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It’s the perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the arrogance of ignorance, at work. It’s not as though the investigators in this study didn’t go to great lengths to try to control for the other confounding factors that she complains about, namely the lack of age-matched controls. Did she not pay attention to the part of the paper that points out how scarce postmortem brains from children that can be used for this sort of research are? Scientists make due with what they have. Wright is, in essence, intentionally making the perfect the enemy of the good and treating this study as though it were more than a preliminary study. She’s basically criticizing it because it is a preliminary study, even though, once again, the authors say right in the article that it’s a preliminary study.

Perhaps one of the most important implications of this study is mentioned in the discussion, and it’s obvious that this is the real reason Wright hates this study:

Also, prefrontal neuron counts in controls did not vary with age, which is concordant with literature that cortical neurons are generated prenatally, not postnatally.

Or, as this news report quotes Dr. Max Wiznitzer:

But since the excess neurons were found in a part of the brain that develops before a child is born, it points to a prenatal problem playing a role in autism.

“This is not consistent with that claims that heavy metals [from vaccines for example] cause the death of brain cells,” says Wiznitzer, because there are too many brain cells not less.

And that’s exactly why Wright is so upset. This study suggests that, whatever causes autism, it probably happens before birth, not after. If true, that rules out vaccines as a cause. Of course, we already have abundant scientific, clinical, and epidemiological evidence that fails to implicate vaccines as a cause of autism. It’s not as though scientists haven’t looked, either. Multiple large, well-designed studies have failed to find a correlation between vaccine and autism. As hypotheses go, the vaccine-autism hypothesis is as dead as dead can be, at least as dead as the famous parrot in a famous Monty Python sketch. Truly, it’s “pinin’ for the fjords.”

But, of course, to Wright, it’s all a huge conspiracy. Note how she writes that a study this small would never have been published in JAMA. Of course, the wag in me can’t help but note that this study is basically the same size as the infamous 1998 Lancet study published by Andrew Wakefield. One wonders whether Katie thinks that study should ever have been published in The Lancet, which is at least as high an impact a journal as JAMA. After all, the studies were basically the same size; so presumably she thinks that Wakefield’s study was no good either. But wait! I spoke too soon. Wright loves Andrew Wakefield because his “research” (such as it is) supports her pseudoscientific belief that vaccines cause autism. She even called the British General Medical Council investigation that led to Andrew Wakefield having his medical license stripped from him a “crime against humanity.” In other words, if a study with 12 or 13 subjects supports her belief that vaccines cause autism, she has no concern about the number of subjects, even when there is no control group.

I’ll take a moment to educate Wright why this study passed muster for JAMA and a study of “biomedical interventions” with only 13 subjects wouldn’t. It’s because it was incredibly difficult to obtain 13 suitable brains from children to study in this manner. Given the difficulties involved, this study was actually rather large. In the case of “biomedical” treatments, scientists would be looking at living children, meaning that there would be no barrier equivalent to what Courchesne et al faced in doing their study to recruiting a more statistically robust number of subjects.

Never mind that, though. According to Wright, this conspiracy is so pervasive that it prevents any scientist from doing anything other than gene-based research:

Families are frequenting told there isn’t enough research money available to address these issues. But guess what there is plenty of money for? Brain and gene research! These “Autism Centers for Excellence” centers blow almost $17 million a year on redundant brain and gene research. It is estimated that 50% of the ACE budgets go to overheard. There is no consumer oversight or public accountability for the money they spend. The NIH doles of autism research money behind closed dollars and without consumer input (they are under no obligation to follow the IACC recommendations), and guess what they love to fund the most? Brain and gene research.

Maybe, just maybe, the reason that the NIH funds brain and gene research is because that is the sort of research that is most likely to illuminate the biological mechanisms that lead to autism and thus point the way to treatments. The “biomedical” treatments that Wright is so enamored of are, by and large, pure quackery with no randomized clinical trial evidence to support their efficacy, much less even a modicum of biological plausibility.

Much like the notion that vaccines cause autism.

None of this stops commenters from dropping bombs of ignorance like:

The deceptive part of the report was the speculation that the increase in pre-frontal cortex neurons happened in utero. This could only be speculative and was probably intended to absolve post utero toxic exposures (e.g., mercury, which can cause abnormal cell growth in the CNS).

Uh, no. It’s not “speculation.” It’s a conclusion based on the known biology of brain development. The prefrontal cortex is already known to develop before birth. The authors even point out that the number of neurons in the prefrontal cortex was independent of age, consistent with completion of its development before birth. Seriously, these people need to learn a bit of neurobiology and actually think.

Even worse than the unrelenting ignorance on display in the article and in the comments, in the end Wright writes that “this Courchesne study has changed my mind” about donating her son’s brain to science. Because a single study doesn’t show what she wants it to show, she’s changed her mind. As if we’re supposed to be impressed. After all, fortunately the deaths of children are uncommon. Fortunately for both her and her son, it’s highly unlikely that wright will ever be called upon to donate her son’s brain to research, and that’s a good thing. No one wants to see a child die. Even though it’s an empty threat, though, Wright’s attitude is very much akin to that of a child who, if he doesn’t get her way, threatens to take all his marbles and go home. The study didn’t show what she wanted it to show; so Wright “changes her mind” about tissue donation. Even if the study to which she objects were crap, her reaction would be akin to tearing up your organ donation card because an alcoholic got a liver, after which he went back to drinking and destroyed the new liver or because Steve Jobs got a liver for a somewhat dicey indication to treat his cancer and his cancer recurred a year and a half later.

One can only hope that she doesn’t persuade other parents.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

778 replies on “Picking up one’s marbles and going home”

I read Wright’s latest rant against scientific research, at AoA. She has gotten a lot more strident…and vicious…as of late, because of her devotion to the junk science theory of vaccine-induce autism.

You are so right Orac, in your appraisal of her deranged thinking processes. She has some sort of educational background in some basic sciences…I believe she has a degree in psychology or social work. Apparently her minimum science education is overwhelmed by her one-track mind.

It is nothing short of amazing how “she just knows” that Klonopin was prescribed as an anti-psychotic for one of the children whose brain was studied. Katie is too dumb or too devious to acknowledge that Klonopin was originally developed and prescribed…and continues to be prescribed for treatment of certain seizure disorders.

Katie is J.B.’s tool against the fine research into the preconception, prenatal causes of autism and the genes mutations that have been identified as causing autism. Those breakthrough research studies are being conducted and funded by Autism Speaks, SFARI, NYS-IBR (Institute for Basic Research) and other groups.

Her fixation on the funding stream that goes into real research and the activities of the IACC is truly pathological. She frequently composes long screeds about these topics for AoA. She (sadly) holds on to her beliefs that studies of genes and the in utero “environment” are dead end topics. She’d much rather cling to the thoroughly debunked theories of her hero Andy Wakefield that claim that kids are “damaged” by vaccines or by other postnatal environmental toxins.

Katie, you and your friends at AoA are always welcome to post at RI because Orac doesn’t have the “moderation policy” that exists at AoA. So, why not “join us” in a lively discussion of your “interpretation” of the Courchesne Brain Study and your critique of the study?

I have a special interest in your discouraging parents of deceased disabled children to make anatomic gifts of their child’s tissue for research and to meet the needs of people who are in desperate need of donor organs and tissues to restore their health. I’d also like to discuss the illustration of the toilet, that is pictured above your article.

This tangentially touches on a topic that you might know the answer to. How DO you leave your body to science?

I’m transsexual and pretty weird in a few ways, so I doubt my body will be fit for organ donation, a fact that actively bothers me. I grew up with a strong family belief in organ donation, and it was always something I took solace in knowing I would die someday; doing so could save someone else.

With that gone, I’ve floundered, and a few months ago thought of the leaving to science thing. I doubt they get very many post-op trans bodies to poke around in, and I think it’s something probably well needed if we are ever to start learning WHY trans people are trans, and to better deal with them.

Having realized it is what I want to do, and knowing full well how sudden and unplanned death is when it comes, I find myself at a loss how to even begin doing this. Organ donation is easy; you tick a box, make sure your family knows, and voila. Being a studied corpse seems a lot less obvious!

I know this doesn’t directly comment on the idiocy abounding in other people’s views, but hey, maybe I can balance them a little. 😉

Jamie @2

I’m unsure how donation occurs anywhere apart from my own country.

I recommend that you approach your nearest medical school, possibly the Anatomy Department, and ask them for advice.

I have carried an organ donor card for many years. I believe my spouse found a version online valid in the US.

As for Ms Wright’s aversion to science and reality, it is just another selfish act. She fights hard to waste money searching for a vaccine source depriving more fruitful investigations funding. She advocates skipping vaccinations in favor of real disease for her family and for the immuno-compromised around her. She spreads lies and foolishness like the chickenpox she loves because she cannot accept her son as he is without an external cause.

Selfish, stupid, credulous and outspoken. Bad combination.

This study suggests that, whatever causes autism, it probably happens before birth, not after. If true, that rules out vaccines as a cause.

I wonder if anyone can work out why vaccines can not be ruled out ?

Answer A –

Answer B –

Answer C –

Three different reasons (at least) can be elucidated from the study and a broader knowledge base.

Good Luck I’ll be offering grades in High Distinction 5 answers . Distinction 4 answers Credit 3 Answers Pass 2 Answer Fail 1 – 0

Bonus marks for clear reasoning and citations.

A chance to redeem for science and critical thinking.

So, basically, this woman has gotten it in her head that vaccines are IT, and no mountain of evidence to the contrary is going to change her mind ?

Sounds a lot like Global Warming Denialism, 9/11 Trooferism and general conspiracy theory nuttyness.

Jamie @2 : organ/body donation procedures vary by locality. Assuming you live somewhere in the USA (a big assumption on my part — ORAC has an international following), your state will likely have it’s own laws and rules regarding donation.
Perhaps the best way to answer your question is to look up your local medical school on the internet and see if they have a section on their website or person to contact.

Last week Katie Wright posted another gem bemoaning the inadequacy of autism research. It seems that she was unhappy because seven studies conducted in the last decade failed to find any evidence that gluten/casein free diets benefit autistic children. First she lists all of the studies and their results. Then whines that the studies were all flawed because she believes they included foods with artificial colors, potatoes, rice, or otherwise failed to include input from a “real” ASD diet specialist.
Like all of the other bloggers on AoA, Katie thinks she’s being a fierce advocate for autistic children when in reality she’s just deeply frustrated who needs a scapegoat to avoid taking out her anger on her child.

Hm. I thought I carried an organ donation card in my wallet, but evidently I don’t. Wonder what happened to it and how long I’ve been without it …

Somewhat less importantly, I also wonder where the SIM card I do carry in my wallet comes from, and how long I’ve been carrying it about.

Orac, whenever you discuss something from AoA I sadly cannot resist the urge to take a peek. I wish you wouldn’t tempt me – each time I read their tripe I end up apoptosing more of my precious neurones. (In fact I am sure so many of us have had similar experiences that AoA should be cited as the main cause of brain toxicity. Vaccines have nothing to do with it.)

Their antivax propaganda machine seems to have plumbed new depths. In its sights are the BMJ and their editor, Fiona Godlee. It is also apparent that the AoA minions have flocked to the BMJ site to “vote up” all the comments from their heroic, shiny knights in armor defending Saint Andy of Wakefield and to vote down any reasoned response that conflicts with their warped mindset. http://www.bmj.com/comment/rapid-responses [click on the “sort by” button and select popularity and you’ll get my drift]

AoA are also rallying round their other hero, Judy Mikovits of imagined “XMRV-in-vaccines-causes-autism” fame. Perhaps they will raise enough funds to send her a food parcel while she languishes in jail.

Hello friends –

Regarding the donation of tissue for the autism research program, this is a big problem, as mentioned by Courchesne in other statements, there is a very real dearth of quality brain tissue from patients with autism. For the people out there that have a child with autism, or have autism, please, please consider learning more about the autism tissue donation program. Here is the url: http://www.autismtissueprogram.org

The unyielding facts of the matter are that the brain tissue needs to be collected within twenty four hours of death. This is something you have to know about, care about, and be prepared to deal with quickly during the worst of times, but ultmimately is a resource our community really needs.

Mrs. Wright’s article was a tour de force in dumbness, if anything, we need a lot more study of the brain tissue of children who experienced drastic loss of skills. Sad.

Regarding the Courchesne study, which I’ve yet to get a copy of myself, (?!!??!), I have seen it stated that the children in question were severely affected by autism, and most (or all) macroencepelatic during infancy, further warranting caution in extrapolating the results. Also, I ran into this the other day, which indicates that there may be some mechanisms by which neurons are created in the prefrontal cortext for a brief period postnatally.

Corridors of migrating neurons in the human brain and their decline during infancy (Nature 478, 382-386 (20 October 2011)

Here we find that the infant human subventricular zone and RMS contain an extensive corridor of migrating immature neurons before 18 months of age but, contrary to previous reports8, this germinal activity subsides in older children and is nearly extinct by adulthood. Surprisingly, during this limited window of neurogenesis, not all new neurons in the human subventricular zone are destined for the olfactory bulb—we describe a major migratory pathway that targets the prefrontal cortex in humans. Together, these findings reveal robust streams of tangentially migrating immature neurons in human early postnatal subventricular zone and cortex.

– pD

@blackheart
I’ll bite. Let’s see… reasons vaccines cannot be ruled out…
A. For the same reason you can’t rule out maternal nose picking as a cause?
B. Because the epidemic of autism hit at the exact same time every single pregnant woman in the US loaded up with toxic vaccines, without exception?
B. Because vaccine disposal leads to beyond-Avogadro doses of homeopathic vaccines in the water supply, which pregnant women drink?
No, wait, that last one would cure autism, obviously.

Hell, I dunno. Why don’t you tell us. And while you are at it, could you tell us the first word at the top of page 2032, just to prove you have actually read the article?

Please ignore the “blackhearted” derailing-the-thread troll.

It’s beginning to become an AoA Thanksgiving tradition to post tasteless offensive articles and “artwork” at this time of year.

I’m donating my organs, but wasn’t interested in giving parts to medical science. I’d seen too many folks doing disrespectful things to various bodies and body parts. Recently, I’ve been changing my mind. 1. I’m dead, what do I care, and 2. just because someone is disrespectful doesn’t mean they won’t learn something they need to know.

Sort of ironic that Wright complains about the small sample size used in the study (because there aren’t that many children’s brains donated), and her response is to not donate her child’s brain in the (hopefully very unlikely) event of his death.

I wonder if part of the resistance to the study is that if the extra neurons occur in utero, they feel they’re at fault as they did something wrong while carrying. ??

If the same study supported Wright’s claims, she wouldn’t give a fart about sample size or where it was published.

I don’t get these people, I really don’t.

Orac will cite this thread when he receives his Nobel price. Autism is caused by too many neurons, reading AoA leads to neuron apoptosis, cure found (so it turns out watching a full set of Republican presidential debates is the faster treatment option).

I read the article yesterday- without even going into the physio**- I regard AoA as an avenue for mis-education and mis-directed activism that rivals any of the efforts by Mssrs Adams and Null. Awful.

However,this “think tank” is, in many ways, a support group and network for parents who may feel as if they have nowhere else to go. The tragedy is that the sort of speculation broadcast and discussed actually works against better understanding of autism, SB therapies, reality-based physio, and reasonable coping strategies for parents * by pre-emption*.

If ( like followers of the aforementioned woo-meisters) a parent puts all of their effort, financial resources, faith,and “heart” into a whimsy-based path towards “cure”-eventually they will be mightily disappointed. How do you feel after you have exhausted yourself in pursuit of a dream fed by un-reality?

To compare this further: either by website or broadcast, followers recieve “education” on a regular basis, along with a measure of indoctrination against SB research. Because I have, over the years, steeped myself in this nonsense***, I can describe how the pseudo-science is merely window-dressing for the real deal: it’s a cult of personality. You have the Brave Rebel Paradigm-shifter/ Truth-teller or the Brave Maverick Doctor: supporters cluster to bask in their icon’s wisdom. Supporters in turn task a lesson from their masters and emulate them.

Of course as the material becomes more wildly off-base supporters become more isolated from the mainstream -including friends, associates, and family members- thus they have painted themselves into a corner with like- minded cohorts, re-inforcing each others’ outlandish beliefs, further distancing themselves from the general public. Thus, we have young Jake in pursuit of Dr Godlee and an epi we all know and love as well as his other *betes noires*. And us. All of whom could conceivably *help* him in the world.

I just shake my head.

** check out LONI @ UCLA
*** @ dt- don’t worry about the neurons, you’ll be fine. I can still do mental computations and follow my investments.

In Missouri, the back of your driver’s license is your organ donation card.

I’m a little surprised most states don’t do the same. We’re not the most progressive state out there.

Hello friends –

Regarding the donation of tissue for the autism research program, this is a big problem, as mentioned by Courchesne in other statements, there is a very real dearth of quality brain tissue from patients with autism. For the people out there that have a child with autism, or have autism, please, please consider learning more about the autism tissue donation program. Please google the autism tissue network for more information.

The unyielding facts of the matter are that the brain tissue needs to be collected within twenty four hours of death. This is something you have to know about, care about, and be prepared to deal with quickly during the worst of times, but ultmimately is a resource our community really needs.

Mrs. Wright’s article was a tour de force in dumbness, if anything, we need a lot more study of the brain tissue of children who experienced drastic loss of skills. Sad.

Regarding the Courchesne study, which I’ve yet to get a copy of myself, (?!!??!), I have seen it stated that the children in question were severely affected by autism, and most (or all) macroencepelatic during infancy, further warranting caution in extrapolating the results. Also, I ran into this the other day, which indicates that there may be some mechanisms by which neurons are created in the prefrontal cortext for a brief period postnatally.

Corridors of migrating neurons in the human brain and their decline during infancy (Nature 478, 382-386 (20 October 2011)

Here we find that the infant human subventricular zone and RMS contain an extensive corridor of migrating immature neurons before 18 months of age but, contrary to previous reports, this germinal activity subsides in older children and is nearly extinct by adulthood. Surprisingly, during this limited window of neurogenesis, not all new neurons in the human subventricular zone are destined for the olfactory bulb we describe a major migratory pathway that targets the prefrontal cortex in humans. Together, these findings reveal robust streams of tangentially migrating immature neurons in human early postnatal subventricular zone and cortex.

– pD

ps: Previous post got held up in moderation w/a single link so re-posting w/out link to autism tissue program. Orac you can nuke the other response. Am I in a special queue for moderation?

It must really burn Katie Wright that Autism Speaks, the organization founded by her parents, has announced the intention to sequence the genomes of the members of more than 2,000 mulitplex autism families in the next two years:

http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/autism-speaks-funds-creation-world%E2%80%99s-largest-autism-genome-library

A project funded by the Welcome Trust has already sequenced the genomes of 400 individuals with ASD, and there are plans to include almost 500 more, plus their parents and controls.

http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/conference-news/2011/world-congress-of-psychiatric-genetics-2011/ambitious-u.k.-project-set-to-sequence-10-000-genomes

The horror!

@ Daniel J. Andrews:

I suspect that one of the reasons some parents fight against genetic/ physio data is because of the imagined *stigma* involved- contributing genes that may be related to ASD doesn’t make you responsible but it might be *inferred* by some people that your genes are “inferior” to the average person’s… that SBM is calling them “lesser beings” or suchlike. Even though conditions may be caused by mutation. Casting aspersion on vaccines relieves them of this burden. It’s what they want to hear.

I just can’t imagine the mental process that would lead to me caring what happens to my carcass after I’m through with it. In Washington, too, your driver’s license is your organ donor card. I checked the box, even though I don’t think it will do much good—my internal organs are barely of any use to me any more. My corneas are OK, though, and that’s one of the biggest benefits of organ donation, so maybe that will help somebody.

So a big part of her complaint is that the study is small–so she discourages people from donating brains to autism research?

In this field 7 brains is doing quite well, particularly at the younger ages. Of course, smaller numbers reduce sensitivity, but the differences were large enough that the results were significant. It doesn’t prove that every autistic child has excessive prefrontal neurons (there was some overlap in the ranges of the two groups), but it certainly supports other evidence that indicates that early brain overgrowth is often found in autism.

The children all seem to be classically autistic. There have been few studies of Asperger brain, and my understanding is that there is not much Asperger tissue available for research. I hope that this will change in the future, as people with Asperger Syndrome are becoming more organized, and many are interested in science.

The effects of medications are always a worry in studies of this nature. Most people with autism receive some drug therapy, so researchers who look at postmortem tissue cannot avoid the issue. But there aren’t any obvious commonalities in the medication histories, making it unlikely that this is the cause of the neuronal excess. While it is not impossible that a drug could cause neuronal proliferation, loss of neurons is more likely–it is a lot easier to kill neurons than to make them proliferate–so a similar proliferative effect from different drugs is a big stretch.

Based upon what I saw at the latest Neuroscience Meeting, and my conversations with autism researchers, it is simply not true that nongenetic causes are not being pursued. It is clear that hardly anybody in the field takes the vaccine or mercury hypothesis seriously anymore, but that does not exclude other environmental causes, such as prenatal exposure to viruses or drugs, and a recent study found a higher concordance of autism among nonidentical twins than previously reported, suggesting a role for shared environment. However, there has been good progress in the genetic area. It is clear that genetic traits play a role in at least some cases of autism, so this is an important direction. Animal models being pursued include both pharmacological and genetic models. A good animal model would be extremely valuable for screening for possible therapies, but at the moment there is something of an embarrassment of models, and their relevance to human autism is unclear. There were a lot of reports describing disruption of rodent social behavior resulting from various pharmacological and genetic manipulation, and the only real conclusion that I was able to draw was that rodent social behavior is fragile, and there are a lot of ways to screw it up. Evaluation of these animal models based upon what can be learned from postmortem human brain is going to be crucial for identifying models that may be relevant to man, so tissue donation remains critical to progress in the field.

Katie Wright is AoA’s resident accountant/analyst of the funds and resources being devoted to the preconception and prenatal influences, on the brain development of children diagnosed with autism…she is not pleased.

As “brian” noted, Katie’s parents’ generous support of Autism Speaks has enabled science-based genetic research to go forward.

Other groups and governmental agencies such as IBR (Institute for Basic Research) funded by NYS are world-renowned for their past research and breakthroughs that add to our knowledge of genetic disorders.

Why doesn’t Katie and the other “journalists” at AoA, urge their readership to agree to blood tests on their autistic children to determine if these children have gene-based disabilities? What are they afraid of? Could it be that participating is such research would disprove their pet pseudoscience theories of vaccines-causing-autism, post-natal environmental “toxins” causing autism and further damaging the reputation of their heroes such as Wakefield, the Geiers and other snake oil salesmen?

However,this “think tank” is, in many ways, a support group and network for parents who may feel as if they have nowhere else to go. The tragedy is that the sort of speculation broadcast and discussed actually works against better understanding of autism, SB therapies, reality-based physio, and reasonable coping strategies for parents * by pre-emption*.

This is what bothers me the most whenever Orac posts about autism quackery. I feel so sorry for the children who are saddled with these misinformed parents. Denice, is it possible to tell from the AoA discussions if any of them pursue reality-based treatments (speech and behaviour therapy, ABA, etc.) or is it all quack detoxifying regimens and spurious dietary restrictions?

Thingy knows “Unit 731” was something bad, but has absolutely no idea what it was.

Please don’t feed ignorant, nasty, delusional disease-promoting Thingy troll.

BTW, Katie lives in NYC and all NYS driver’s licenses have organ and tissue donation boxes that should be checked off, by people who wish to donate their organs and tissues after death.

As a researcher on autism treatment who regularly reads outside their particular field, I’ve found Courchesne’s group is prolific, properly tempered in their assertions about their work, and have had their worked independently verified by other researchers. This particular study is a natural extension of their work on structural differences in the brains of persons with ASDs.

Introversion is a near-universal characteristic of autism, though of course not all introverts are autistic. Introversion does not mean you are shy, but it does mean that you have a lower baseline for arousal. Perhaps, it is this personality trait that predisposes some children to be more vulnerable to develop autism. Though, some children may be born with autism, others may develop autism after some sort of stimulation or change to the brain and immune system.

PET scans reveal that introverts have more activity in the frontal lobes of the brain and anterior, or front, thalamus. Extroverts exhibit more activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus, temporal lobes and posterior thalamus. These variations in brain activity suggest that a lot of our individual differences have an underlying biological cause.

The brain processes information much differently in introverts, than in extroverts. It could be that this biological difference in the brain is what makes some children more susceptible to vaccine injury. Vaccines are designed to cause an immune-response and the way the brain is wired may very well be a contributing factor as to why some children are biologically more vulnerable to vaccine injury, than others.

@ Edith Prickly:

From what I can ascertain a few of the posters do make use of therapy and state sponsored ed ( Hallelujah!); it appears that the reality-based co-exists along with the whimsical,i.e. GFCF,HBOT, chelation, and supplements. Can I venture a guess as to what set of therapies they would attribute any improvement?

I normally don’t respond to drive-by trolling. But I just read Orac’s summary.

Holy crap.

Thingy, that wasn’t just unfunny, it was profoundly disrespectful. I don’t give a damn what you think about Orac or anybody else, that was inappropriate as hell.

It could be that this biological difference in the brain is what makes some children more susceptible to vaccine injury.

If there was good scientific evidence suggesting that some children were more susceptible to vaccine injury than others, then it would be worth devising hypothesis to explain the difference. However, we do not have good scientific evidence to suggest that autism has ever occured as a result of vaccine injury, so speculating on a possible mechanism by which it might be happening on a regular basis is like trying to build a case for murder before even checking to see if maybe the victim is actually alive and well.

@Rachael

That’s a horrible argument. Basically, what your argument boils down to is: “Behavioral differences between individuals have a biological basis; therefore, vaccine injury can cause autism.” Seriously, that’s how bad your argument is when stripped to its essence. It’s a non sequitur at best, and at the very least, as lawyers say, it relies on “facts not in evidence.” In other words, there’s no evidence that autism is caused by vaccine injury and no compelling evidence of biological differences leading to greater susceptibility to “vaccine injury” that can contribute to autism.

Denice @21

I think it’s more than the “stigma.” It’s personal. If the genetic hypothesis is correct, then Katie Wright is to blame for her child’s autism. For a parent, that’s a horrifying thought — the idea that you were the cause of your child’s problems. The fact that the AoA crowd regard autism as an unmitigated disaster for a family makes it that much worse.

She clings to the vaccine idea (not even a hypothesis by this time) is because it shifts the blame onto “them” — the CDC, BigPharma and their many minions in the medical milieu.

Katie Wright wrote:

This study represents my nightmare, the worst-case scenario. Children’s brains have been used for politically driven poor quality science.

I think my irony meter just sublimated directly into a gas.

A 7-person biomedical study would NEVER be published by JAMA, I promise you.

But I absolutely know vaccines cause autism because of a 12 person study published in the Lancet that was retracted for fraud. It’s totally been vindicated by a small handful of five and six person studies published in low tier journals, and personal anecdotes. Now that’s convincing!

Brain differences Orac … brain differences. Introverts have more brain activity in general, specifically in the frontal lobes; something that is hardwired in the from birth and can be seen on brain scans. Introverts have a lower baseline for arousal because of a biological difference in the brain.

This study counted neurons in seven brains of children diagnosed with autism and compared them to typically developed brains. All of the children had severe autism, none were ever diagnosed with PDD/NOS or Asperger’s Syndrome.

In a discussion over at SFARI AUTISM a member of the autism tissue program stated “I know that sample,” says Lange, who is on the advisory board of the Autism Tissue Program, which manages some of the samples in the study. “It’s of varying quality, from poor to acceptable.”

20% of autism cases have large brains but 20% have abnormally small brains. Its hard to extrapolate to all cases a finding from a very small sample.

I see that “Rachael” posted that same specious argument… verbatim…on the AoA website three hours ago.

Rachael, why don’t you go back to AoA and tell Katie that we are waiting for her to post here? I’m especially interested in her disingenuous argument against organ and tissue donations.

One might also note the comment in the accompanying editorial by Janet Lainhart and Nicholas Lange:

Postmortem brain tissue studies in autism research, and in general, are difficult to conduct due to limited availability of brain samples, non-representativeness of the samples, variable causes of death, potentially long postmortem intervals, and differences in brain extraction, sectioning and tissue processing protocols and cell counting methods. Most if not all case-control tissue sample sizes are small, and representative population-based postmortem reference data, similar to those currently available from large normative samples of in vivo pediatric brain imaging, do not exist.

Those challenges notwithstanding, the study by Courchesne et al has several unique strengths: some of the brains examined were from very young children and cognitively high-functioning individuals with autism, and only 1 case had a history of seizures. Many of the brains examined in prior postmortem studies have been from older individuals who had severe autism, intellectual disabilities, and seizures. Further, the investigation quantified neuron and glial cell numbers stereologically in a volume of the cerebral cortex much larger than that of many previous tissue studies. These methodological strengths allowed Courchesne et al to examine the relationship of cell number to brain weight and perform the most direct and specific quantitative study to date on the cellular basis of brain size variation in autism.

What I see here is a lot of people bringing forward rational arguments. But what you fail to see is that the line of thinking among vaccine critics has nothing to do with rationality. Take this,

The brain processes information much differently in introverts, than in extroverts. It could be that this biological difference in the brain is what makes some children more susceptible to vaccine injury.

and note how a far-fetched assumption is put on the same playing field as a small, but scientifically sound study.

Typical anti-vaxxer thinking – they’ve already convinced themselves that vaccines are the cause, so anything that disproves that idea is immediately discarded.

Before any of the resident trolls tries to turn that around – at least the pro-vax stance can point to decades of research (including the very beginnings of vaccine science, long before the birth of so-called “BIG PHARMA”) the success of the vaccine program in general, and the continued refinement of the manufacturing process, so that what we have today continues to improve in levels of safety over time.

So, you have one side firmly based in actual science, with proof to back it up, and on the other, you have nothing but supposition and emotion….and that about sums it up.

“It was incredibly difficult to find 13 suitable brains from children to study.” Funny how 13 ish monkeys was way too few to study in the Hewitson primate study. Because, I guess primates are really easy to obtain and house.
” Known biology of brain development” has actually evolved since the mid /90’s so your statement is just that – a statement. It would be like a person in the 1300’s saying okay I think we’re done here with the whole clock idea (pre-pendulum) or, okay I think we’re done here with the Greeks figuring an imbalance between the 4 humors causes illness.

I could never be a physician or psychologist; then I’d be obligated to treat people who are this staggeringly stupid – they cling so much to their favored hypothesis that vaccines cause autism that they plug their ears about how brains work – if they solicited my help.

Research works just fine for me.

Unsure, you appear to not actually know much about the biology of brain development. The particular aspect of brain development called into question here has survived after repeated testing SINCE the mid ’90s.

Lilady- how is ?Blackheart de-railing the thread???? He’s bang on topic. Are you a moderator or paid blogger?

The only topic of discussion one can get from blackheart’s post is “How can any human be so mind-blowingly arrogant?

The only topic of discussion one can get from blackheart’s post is “How can any human be so mind-blowingly arrogant?

It is nearly as good as the time MJD decided to give out a reading assignment, though.

I’m not so sure you’ve been reading RI long enough to understand why lilady is calling blackheart a troll. He’s derailed a number of other threads recently with bad arguments and egocentric chest-puffing about his own (woefully overestimated) brilliance.

Or do I detect a whiff of unwashed socks…?

Or do I detect a whiff of unwashed socks…?

Not enough random multidimensional, multilayered use of boldface.

I’d seen too many folks doing disrespectful things to various bodies and body parts.

That’s fine with me. I like the idea of some techs playing touch football with my urinary bladder or some other useless bits after the good bits have been harvested. I’m having plenty of fun with my body in life; it’s only fair it should continue to be a source of fun after my death. I won’t be around to care.

it’s only fair it should continue to be a source of fun after my death.

I wanna be a halloween decoration, or a marionette!

I’m not a neuroscientist, but I used to maintain computers for one, so here’s what I wonder:

It should be feasible to scan these brains post mortem in an NMR scanner, using a diffusion weighted scan. With enough samples, one could get a reasonable mapping from a DWI-MRI image to an estimate of neuronal density.

Once you have that you can start scanning living children and get the same kind of data, at which point you can have data points by the gross.

Now would be a good time for these kooks to leave the game while they’re behind.

The good news I take from this is that medical research is continuing, and may someday identify the factors that actually cause autism. The pseudo-scientific antics of the antivaxers aren’t preventing that research, although they are still dangerous from a public-health standpoint.

are you sure:

“It was incredibly difficult to find 13 suitable brains from children to study.” Funny how 13 ish monkeys was way too few to study in the Hewitson primate study. Because, I guess primates are really easy to obtain and house.

First off, yes, monkeys are easier to obtain and house than human beings. Much easier. You can actually buy them. It’s illegal to buy humans, as you may have noticed. (Quite a lot of Americans killed quite a lot of other Americans over that very issue 150 years ago.)

But that’s not the main problem with the Hewitson study. In addition to the small sample size (a problem, but not an insurmountable one), the control and study groups were imbalanced — only three controls for 13 study animals. By contrast, this brain study had six children with ASD and seven controls. There were also animals unaccountably dropped from the study, and certain data sets were also unaccountably dropped from the final version of the study — perhaps because they weren’t supporting the hypothesis? But the most glaring problem, in my mind, was that even if the study had the power to detect a real vaccine problem, the way they were administering the vaccines in the trial to duplicate the full childhood schedule had a pretty good chance of causing behavioral problems in the animals anyway — they tried to scale the timing of the shots to the animals’ much more rapid development, which meant that they were pulling animals out of the community pretty frequently and then sticking them with needles.

This study, examining post mortem the brains of children with and without ASDs, is very intriguing. It is not sufficient to explain the cause, or even *a* cause, of autism, and the researchers themselves state that. (Quite a contrast to Hewitson, who was very confident in her rather dubious conclusions.) But the results are provocative, and it provides fertile ground for new research. That’s a good thing.

@ . . . are you sure?

Surely you understand that the real problem with Hewitson’s unfortunate macaque study was that she rather desperately misinterpreted the abnormal development in her tiny control group (where the complete results available from, as I recall, only two animals were clearly counter to the published information available regarding the typical development of the amygdala of both human and macaque infants) as normal, don’t you? That’s why she wrongly interpreted the normal development in her vaccinated group as being abnormal. So, yes, the small numbers were a problem, but that issue might not have been so disruptive if she (or the “reviewers” for that obscure Polish journal) had bothered to read the scientific literature that was directly related to her project. Courchesne at least tries to keep up.

@…are you so sure?

Type “Laura Hewitson” into the search box of this blog. Read. Learn. Her study was a horribly designed study.

In New York state, not only is your driver’s license your organ donor card (there’s a red heart icon indicating it) but you can go online if you want to do something more complicated than “take anything usable.” Also, the donor-to-be’s decision is final: with my signup, they won’t need to bother my grieving next of kin (or, conversely, they can’t override my decision). Or so the state told me. I have, of course, discussed this with the people closest to me, but someone without close relatives might be glad that they could be an organ donor even if a second cousin couldn’t be found or their good friend couldn’t find the appropriate power of attorney and such.

Also, I have relatives upstate who have signed up to donate their bodies to medical research; they did it through the local university.

@Rachael

I have no doubt I’m wasting my breath here but here we go anyways.
You are indeed correct in your basic premise that function follows structure, differences in the brain can indeed form the basis for our behaviors and abilities. Now if you can produce scientifically backed evidence (Backed by good science mind you) that vaccines cause a change in brain structure then you may be onto something. Merely stating, as Orac pointed out, that “Behavioral differences between individuals have a biological basis; therefore, vaccine injury can cause autism.” is not a valid argument. Heck it’s not really much of anything but a waste of space on a discussion forum.

I wanna be a halloween decoration, or a marionette!
Pinata possibility!

the way the brain is wired may very well be a contributing factor as to why some children are biologically more vulnerable to vaccine injury, than others.

It would be nice at this point to have some evidence that “some children are biologically more vulnerable to vaccine injury” rather than slipping it in as if it were a universally accepted fact.

The whole “subgroup of children susceptible to vaccines” line of argument is weird. The only reason for postulating that vaccines were EVILZ was to explain a supposed epidemic of autism. Then the epidemiology and the results of removing thimersoral showed that this was bullshit. So the anti-vax campaigners withdrew to a fallback position, the “vulnerable subgroup” claim.

Obviously this assumption no longer accounts for the purported epidemic so what is the sodding point of assuming it at all? Apart from saving face by making a graceful retreat from one’s original claims rather than an outright admission of error?

@ pD: I doubt it was the link in your first posting. Sometimes, I have found, Sciblogs will randomly put a comment into moderation for no apparent reason, and it’s happened to me more commonly in the past few months. I don’t know why. So don’t think it’s you. 🙂

This is an interesting study. Small sample, yes, and the authors admit that and stress this is an area that needs more study. From Orac’s review, it appears to me that they will continue to try and study this, unlike St Andy, who when given the resources and the opportunity never tried to honestly replicate his study.

I’ve often thought about donating my body to science, and that is what I want done. Organs, if they can be used. Otherwise, give my body to science so that others in the future can have more knowledge.

I am reminded of the member of the House of Lords years ago, a committed Buddhist and a foe of elaborate funerals that turn into morbid celebrations of death, who wanted to donate his body to the Battersea Dogs’ Home. The Home’s board of directors were forced to reject his offer, stating that they were not questioning his Lordship’s culinary or nutritive qualities, but they were bound by legal constraints.

Lousy study-
Brain pruning may be halted by vaccines-the immune system does have a role-
It’s Too Many,Too Soon-
It’s the vaccines dummies.

Speaking as a member of the group being talked about, I find the idea of vaccine’s being the cause of Autism just plain stupid.

I know in my case I was not diagnosed until adulthood(after my symptoms had significantly improved through my own efforts, yay me) because my family have a very strong ‘people with poor social skills and mental illness(s) are bad/inferior’ attitude.

Reading a bit about family life and social attitudes through the ages suggests to me that the above attitude is fairly common. If so, then it seems reasonable to suggest that in those of us who are vulnerable that being ostracised to any extent would aggravate our symptoms. The question now is, with greater population densities are we required to be more socially adept now? Could this be causing at least some of us to be mildly Autistic in stead of borderline, severe instead of mild, etc?

Please note: I am not advocating that the above is the cause or even a cause, I am merely throwing a hypothesis to the wind so to speak.

Passionless Drone (who has posted here previously, attempting to link vaccination with autism) said (post #11):

Regarding the Courchesne study, which I’ve yet to get a copy of myself, (?!!??!), I have seen it stated that the children in question were severely affected by autism, and most (or all) macroencepelatic (sic) during infancy, further warranting caution in extrapolating the results.

Uh, “?!!??!”? That’s a lot of fevered punctuation. Are the same dark forces holding up your previous comment in moderation on this blog responsible for your not yet having read the full JAMA article? And “Seen it stated”…seen it stated by who? Even if the part about macroencephaly was so, why exactly do you think this might invalidate the study? And were you aware that macroencephaly may not correlate with increased numbers of neurons? – in fact, the number of neurons may be decreased in macroencephaly, depending on what factors are involved.

It would be nice to see acknowledgement by pD (who apparently reads a lot of research papers) that, as Orac noted, what’s bugging Katie Wright (and probably other members of the vaccines-cause-autism alliance) is that the JAMA report flies in the face of assumptions that vaccine “toxins” cause autism, seeing as how the authors’ preliminary results demonstrated significantly more neurons in the brains of autistic children, while you’d expect fewer neurons in the case of actual toxin exposure.

Good to see that pD at least supports further organ donation to learn more about autism, even if he must cast doubt as quickly as possible on the fruit of that research (if it doesn’t meet preconceived notions about the harmfulness of vaccines).

@68:

Of all the stupid arguments you antivaxx morons have come up with, “Too many too soon” has to be the absolute stupidest. You could concentrate all the active ingredients from the entire vaccine schedule—even the ridiculously inflated numbers of “shots” you idiots quote, and stick them into a baby before it was all the way out (would that it were possible!), and that wouldn’t be a thousandth part of the antigens they’re going to be exposed to that day! They’re just exquisitely targeted, is all.

I have difficulty expressing my reaction to Ms. Wright’s post. One of the key things I learned at IMFAR was the paucity of brain tissue for research and how important this is. Last thing anyone wants is the untimely death of a loved one. But tissue from autistics, children and adults, can help a great deal in furthering autism research.

Suffice it to say that if Ms. Wright’s article results in 1 fewer brain for research, she has done the community a great disservice.

Let me instead focus on a tiny detail: “It is estimated that 50% of the ACE budgets go to overheard.”

I suspect Orac knows more about this than I, but, yes, overhead charges at academic institutions are high. Overhead can be about 50%. Of course, an overhead “tax” of 50% is not the same thing as “50% of the budget is overhead”. If a university has a 50% overhead, that means that if a budget is $100,000, the grant would pay $150,000, 50% of the budget.

Somehow I doubt this would be a question were a giant grant given to, say, Martha Herbert who is at Harvard, and who is supportive of the vaccine causation idea. Harvard’s overhead (F&A) is about 71%.

How quaint that “are you so sure” is defending Wakefield’s apologist…

Yes I “am so sure” about the validity of the study and yes I “am so sure” about Katie Wright’s totally inept analysis and critique of the study.

Katie and her fellow “science journalists” at AoA can spin the results of this study all they want…they can even come up with new “theories”, based on junk science, but there is irrefutable evidence that de novo mutations of genes and/or the in utero environment are implicated in the causes of autism.

The AoA “journalists” and their minions need to get over themselves. They are no longer driving the debate about the causes of autism. They need to understand that sometimes sh*t happens and sometimes sh*t happens to them.

Isolating themselves within their internet echo chamber of blame and martyrdom does a disservice to their family, their extended family and their disabled children.

It is very liberating, once you accept your child and move on to the “other” role you will playing…as the parent of a developmentally disabled child.

Idiot @ 71:

Anybody with a brainstem, who’s ever looked through a microscope, would know that 100,000 is a ridiculous underestimate.

I want to be a skeleton in an anatomy class. I fully support the mining of my body for anything that might prove useful, rather than letting it go to waste in the ground (any leftovers can be cremated, and used as fertilizer for my garden).

Good brain studies are hard to do, and this is a good brain study. Of course, that’s exactly what’s sending the anti-vaxxers into overdrive, because it’s much harder to argue with the truth when the truth is so clearly stated. And the size of the study is actually really impressive.

citations please
Posted by: MD1970

Heh. A random commenter condemns Courchesne et al. as “lousy” without offering a better study; asserts without evidence that “Brain pruning may be halted by vaccines”; then demands citations from other commenters.
It’s like intellectual jiu-jitsu, as performed by someone who learned the skills by watching a martial-arts movie.

It’s too bad that Katie Wright is the biggest reason that Autism Speaks still flogs the dead vaccine horse. AS could do so much more for autism with their clout and their funding, but KW’s foot-stamping tantrum-throwing is forcing the group to waste their money and efforts on something so many of their board (past and present) know is a dead end. If it weren’t for KW, we wouldn’t need Autism Science Foundation, Autism Speaks owuld be fulfilling that role!

NY Times article about KW causing tension at Autism Speaks http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/18/us/18autism.html?sq=autism speaks&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=all

As for her reasons for witholding a body from medical research, that would deprive so many other researchers from having a good specimen for study. What a waste.

@WaffleMaster #64: And I have no doubt that I’m wasting my breath, especially on this forum, but here I go anyway. All I have to go on is the eyewitness accounts of parents who say that their children were completely normal, prior to a vaccination.

Autism experts say, that they recognize the subtle signs present in infants as young as six months who are at risk for developing autism. but, perhaps those signs were just those of a normal, developing introverted child. Introversion is not an illness, a handicap or a social problem, but introverts do tend to have a lower baseline for arousal and have more brain activity in general, specifically in the frontal lobes. They are usually more sensitive to noise and sounds. There is a statistical correlation between introversion and giftedness. Think of the many children who have developed autism, who have also demonstrated signs of being gifted (artists, musicians, scientists, mathematicians).

Introversion is a trait born in about a quarter of the population. Seeing as many parents of autistic children have said, that their child’s autism developed after receiving a vaccination and considering that vaccines stimulate the immune system, perhaps, the introverted child may have grown up to be a happy, healthy introverted adult, like many of their parents.

(PET scans reveal that introverts have more activity in the frontal lobes of the brain and anterior, or front, thalamus. Extroverts exhibit more activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus, temporal lobes and posterior thalamus.)

“We have to account for the relationship between environmental factors as well as genetics. This is not an either/ or.” Dr. Derrick MacFabe, directorof the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group at the University of Western Ontario

@ Rogue Epidemiologist: There was a time when the Wrights tried to appease their daughter Katie…and they lost the good will of many of their supporters, as well as their extraordinarily competent Executive V.P.-Communications and Awareness, Alison Singer.

Ms. Singer has a brother who has a severe developmental disability, as well as a daughter who has been diagnosed with autism. She has formed her own foundation (Autism Science Foundation), which, while in its infancy, has the support of parents of children on the “spectrum” as well as scientists involved in research.

As I stated in a prior post, Katie is being used (a tool) of J.B. and is working out her juvenile oppositional behavior against her parents. She craves the “media” exposure and revels in her “role” as a contributing “journalists” in the cesspool of woo that is AoA.

I suspect that the Wrights are wondering “where did we go wrong with Katie’s upbringing” and “why does Alison Singer have her head screwed on correctly…while our Katie wallows in the cesspool in la-la land?”

Rachel @ 79:

Can you not understand how “All I have to go on is the eyewitness accounts of parents who say that their children were completely normal, prior to a vaccination” is indeed, fundamentally, inherently, a waste of breath? Because time and again that’s what this and SO many other pseudosciences and superstitions and woo really seem to boil down to: An inability, from ignorance or miseducation, to know how to know.

@ MD1970: Thanks for the linkage to a completely different study done by Eric Courchesne at UCSD on LIVE children with ASD, whose parents were recruited through an outreach program. The earlier study was a retrospective chart review of autistic live children that plotted the head circumference differences at birth and through the live children’s early years.

You do know the difference between the two studies, don’t you?

You do know the difference between measuring head circumference of living children versus microscopic analysis of dead children’s brain tissue, don’t you?

You do know that Courchesne’s latest study compared the numbers of neurons and weight of the entire brain of dead autistic children and the numbers of neurons and weight of the entire brain of dead “normal” children, don’t you?

Thanks for the unintended laughs you provided me.

Hi Dangerous Bacon –

“?!!??!”? That’s a lot of fevered punctuation. Are the same dark forces holding up your previous comment in moderation on this blog responsible for your not yet having read the full JAMA article?

I get about a 75% response rate from corresponding authors when I request papers from them, and a better rate when it is a ‘big’ paper. Thus far, I have no response from the authors. Would you, (or anyone) be willing to send me a copy? passionlessDrone at yahoo . I will award you (or anyone) +10 karma points.

And “Seen it stated”…seen it stated by who?

By RAJ, who also commented here. Specifically on threads on this paper on the Neuroskeptic blogspot, and on Left Brain / Right Brain website. If this is inaccurate (I was trying to indicate I couldn’t validate it), please let me know. Have you read the paper? Can you, or anyone, validate if this information was in the paper?

Even if the part about macroencephaly was so, why exactly do you think this might invalidate the study?

Such a stratification would not, by any means, ‘invalidate the study’, it should, however serve to give nuance to our interpretation of the findings. If, indeed, a large percentage (or all) of the children in question were macroencephelatic, then this study really gives us clues towards a phenotype. That’s an important distinction in a condition as heterogeneous as autism; something I thought you wouldn’t have to ask questions about; though I am getting a little less and less surprised that you don’t understand something like this every time we have a conversation.

And were you aware that macroencephaly may not correlate with increased numbers of neurons? – in fact, the number of neurons may be decreased in macroencephaly, depending on what factors are involved.

OK.

It would be nice to see acknowledgement by pD (who apparently reads a lot of research papers) that, as Orac noted, what’s bugging Katie Wright (and probably other members of the vaccines-cause-autism alliance) is that the JAMA report flies in the face of assumptions that vaccine “toxins” cause autism, seeing as how the authors’ preliminary results demonstrated significantly more neurons in the brains of autistic children, while you’d expect fewer neurons in the case of actual toxin exposure.

Did you see the part where I said that Mrs. Wright’s post was a tour de force of dumb?

I happen to think that the use of ‘toxins’ by both sides of this discussion is a large over simplification. Certainly almost anything on AOA would fall into this classification. Your shoot from the hip assertion above, that ‘actual toxin exposure’ would necessarily result in fewer neurons is just as simplistic. What if an environmental exposure didn’t result in acute toxicity, but instead, interfered with apoptosis? In this case, we could easily find our way towards an increased set of neurons.

While the AOA guys don’t seem to understand nuance, that doesn’t mean that we have to follow suit; being smarter than Jenny McCarthy, or indeed, Kathy Wright, isn’t exactly something to take pride in. Something doesn’t have to be poisonous to have an impact you know.

Good to see that pD at least supports further organ donation to learn more about autism, even if he must cast doubt as quickly as possible on the fruit of that research (if it doesn’t meet preconceived notions about the harmfulness of vaccines).

I think this is a good study (well, from what I’ve read about it. . . . .) , and Orac did a nice job of detailing its preliminary nature. I’ve yet to read the paper (?!?!?!), but the transcription of the talk by the author hosted on the ‘Thinking Person’s Guide To Autism’ has a nice section on the findings of downregulation of apoptosis and the response to DNA damage.

What we found is dysregulation of pathways that govern cell numbers, and the functional integrity of cells. To be exact, what we found were pathways that showed dysregulation of the genesis of neurons, dysregulation of the way the cycling of cells that produces more and more neurons operates. Most importantly, we found downed regulation of DNA damage responses, and downed regulation of apoptosis [the process of programmed cell death].

[Not linking, but a google of Thinking Persons Guide To Autism and courchesne will get anyone interested there. I would recommend it.]

I’d love to have seen a discussion about that part of the paper instead of the standard dummy bashfest. One can hope!

Your ability to project your prefab, ready to blow down arguments onto me is rather impressive, but you have again failed to understand my position. I’m curious, how exactly does pointing out that the population cohort contains an over representative physical phenotype ‘cast doubt as quickly as possible on the fruit of that research’? Are we here to have a cheering club, or approach findings with objectivity?

– pD

It took 9 years to go from measuring head size and brain overgrowth to studying neurons in brain size? That’s a very slow brain.

In 2002 Eric C said: “I’m very optimistic that, in the the span of five to seven years, researchers will have discovered major factors involved in this brain overgrowth, and once they do, I believe research will proceed at a tremendously fast pace.”

Still waiting……..
He now says brain overgrowth occurs pre-natally.

MD1970 @ 84:
It took 9 years to go from measuring head size and brain overgrowth to studying neurons in brain size?

Is this a graceful way of accepting that your earlier claim (that “This is merely an update”) was not intended to be factual?

It appears to me that scenarios linking autism to either “Hg poisoning”/”toxicity” or “Introversion” are attempts to adroitly circumvent incoming data that suggest genetic and early ( primarily pre-natal) causation of autism: this includes hypotheses that call for genetic susceptibility but also require vaccine “damage”. A long time ago, SMIs like schizophrenia, were attributed to damage that occured *after* the child was born: poor parenting, abuse, lack of love, paradoxical communication- all external events; today a strong hereditarial component is recognised and early environmental influences are examined as well ( e.g. virus infection of mother, month of birth, other variables related to gestation). Interestingly, both autism and schizophrenia might involve gene 22.

People may find a genetic marker for an SMI or a developmental condition stigmatising: why is that? Why don’t they feel that way about Huntington’s? They are all conditions that are not anyone’s *fault* and involve physiological differences in the brain. I believe that folklore and mis-information from the past still haunt our culture.

In the past, people with severe forms of the developmental disorders were frequently out of the public eye because they were in institutions: today their care( like those with SMI) often falls upon the parents. In most cases, this is not a job for which they are prepared-actually it’s sort of a new job title. Is it any wonder that these parents- who are suffering, many pushed to their limits- are upset?

However, like cancer patients who foresee a long uncertain path ahead with SBM and seek out the comforting fictions and “guarantees” of woo, parents may be seduced by the externalising causation presented by anti-vax and encouraged by “cures” that remove the offensive causative agent.

-btw- I adroitly step around the entire topic of introversion. Because I *can*!

Rogue Epidemiologist. Wrong. Katie has already ascertained that the “waste” would be in offering up her “good specimen” for fucking pointless “research.” and Lilady I think speculating on the Wrights preferring Alison Singer over their own daughter has really actually de-railed the blog. Why don’t you try and answer Blacheart’s question @ 6 which was actually on-task.

Rachael @79:
Seeing as many parents of autistic children have said, that their child’s autism developed after receiving a vaccination and considering that vaccines stimulate the immune system, perhaps, the introverted child may have grown up to be a happy, healthy introverted adult, like many of their parents.

If you think that vaccinations can indeed lead to the neural abnormalities reported by Courchesne et al., then rather than waste your time here, have you considered arguing with Katie Wright over at Autism Speaks? She’s the one who seems to think that such a link is impossible, and therefore Courchesne’s research should be stopped because it contradicts her beliefs. Change her mind; she will encourage everyone to cooperate with Courchesne’s research; win-win situation!

Sick sauce:

If you have any substantial criticisms of Courchesne et al 2011 instead of repeating Katie’s superficial ones, please do share, as we’ve just read an entire blog post on why Katie’s criticisms don’t pass muster. Maybe you missed it?

All I have to go on is the eyewitness accounts of parents who say that their children were completely normal, prior to a vaccination.

Rachael, I want to deal with your concerns respectfully, and for me to do that the best way I know how risks me going a bit too “analytical” for some people’s tastes. Please forgive me if I come across as cold; I’m not trying to be cold but to explain something as clearly and solidly as possible.

Your argument seems to be as follows:

1) A great number of parents all say that their children were developing normally up until a vaccination and then shortly after the vaccination became autistic.
2) When a large number of people all give eyewitness accounts of similar events, it must means those events happened as described.
3) Therefore, there are a large number of children who were developing normally up until a vaccination and then shortly after the vaccination became autistic.

3) as above
4) When a large number of people all develop the same condition after exposure to the same thing, it constitutes strong evidence for a causal relationship between the thing and the condition.
5) Therefore, there is strong evidence that vaccines cause autism.

Okay, have I represented your argument fairly? I hope I have. Now, I have to explain where your argument has significant weak points.

The first is point 2. The average person thinks of eyewitness testimony as very convincing, perhaps the most convincing kind of evidence. The average person assumes that what happens in front of the average person is what that person will perceive and vice versa. But science tells a far different story: it tells us that what people perceive is only a partial (and biased) selection of what is there to perceive. Want a startling demonstration of just how partial? Look up the “gorilla basketball study,” where study subjects watched a video clip of people in black shirts and white shirts passing basketballs back and forth, and were asked to count the passes made by people wearing one of the two shirt colors. Fully half the study subjects failed to see a person dressed in a gorilla suit who walked in from the side of the screen, stepped into the circle of basketball-passers, faced the camera and beat their chest, and then walked off the other side of the screen. If that many people can miss something as attention-getting as a person in a gorilla suit, then how many parents who had no idea that their child might be autistic missed the early signs?

Then there’s the issue that we are not really dealing, in most cases, with eyewitness accounts; we are dealing with people’s memories of events usually well after the fact. Why is this distinction important? Because science has shown that memory, like attention, is far less perfect than we like to think it is; our memory of even our own experiences can be severely altered by beliefs we acquired later, not even necessarily consciously, about what “must have happened.” Again, a study illustrates the point: subjects were asked to watch a film of an auto accident, and then later answer questions about what they’d seen. Their memories of what they’d seen were highly swayed by the questions they were asked; if asked “how fast was the car going when it ran into the truck,” people would tell what they remembered of the car running into the truck – even though what the film had showed was the truck running into the car, not the car into the truck. People who were asked “how long after the accident did the ambulance arrive?” frequently produced time estimates – even though the correct answer was “No ambulance ever arrived in the film.” If merely being asked in a certain way was enough to jumble people’s memories of what they’d just seen, how distorted do you think parents’ memories of the course of their child’s autism might get, months or years later?

The answer is very, and case after case has verified that. Parents have testified that their child was completely normal until their vaccination, and then started showing signs of autism directly afterwards, and surely the parents believe what they’re saying – but the problem is, the actual medical records show the parents bringing the child in because of concern over what turns out to be a symptom of autism, before the vaccination that they now misremember as preceding all appearances of autism. The meme “vaccines cause autism! vaccines cause autism!” floats through the Internet and the media, pushed along by some fanatical believers – I know you’ve been to AoA, you’ve seen how fervently people there believe that vaccines cause autism; do you really think that if just being asked “when did the ambulance arrive?” can cause a witness to misremember a phantom ambulance, that being exposed to antivaccine extremists claiming that autism never happens except because of vaccines can’t make parents’ memories reflect a clear “this happened, and then that happened right after” sequence that didn’t really happen in real life?

So, in regards to point 2, large numbers of parents may say “My child was perfectly normal, and then right after getting a vaccination, he became autistic!” but even if we assume good faith, that all those parents are trying to tell the truth as they know it, it doesn’t prove that things actually happened the way they’re telling the story.

So, on to point 4. If a sufficiently large group of subjects exhibited a sufficiently precise response to a particular exposure, that would constitute at least some level of inductive evidence for a possible cause-effect relationship between the two. What does “sufficiently precise” mean? It means that if a small random sampling of autistic children all had their autism develop within, say, two weeks of the same vaccination, we wouldn’t automatically conclude a connection, but we’d certainly take seriously the possibility of one. This is why Wakefield’s study got so much attention, until it was discovered that he’d lied about his small group being any kind of a random sampling and had also lied about when autistic symptoms appeared in relation to the vaccination. Even counting only the children in the study whose vaccinations had happened before their autistic symptoms, some happened within weeks, and some happened six months later, or longer than that. If you’re going to nominate, as a possible cause of an as-yet-of-unknown-cause condition, a vaccination that could be half a year or more in the past, then you should be nominating as a possible cause everything that these kids were exposed to, at any time in the six months before their symptoms showed. Did all of those kids drink milk at some point during that six-month period? There you go, milk has become just as plausible a culprit as vaccines. The often-heard refrain is “It couldn’t just be coincidence!” but the fact is that coincidences – which I’ll define here as “things happening in ways that look meaningful, even though there’s just luck and no meaning behind them” – happen all the time. And they especially happen when you relax your standards for “meaningful” to the point where “X happened, and then Y happened sometime in the next 14 to 183 days!!” is considered meaningful.

I hope you can see what we’re getting at, now. Between the fact that parents didn’t necessarily see everything that was important to understanding their child’s autism, nor necessarily remember correctly what they did see, and that the association remaining is very weak once you realize just how tenuous the time connections are, there just really isn’t good scientific evidence for the vaccines-cause-autism idea. And, most importantly, there’s serious scientific evidence against it. If vaccines caused autism in some subgroup of children, then the rates of autism should be higher among vaccinated children than unvaccinated children. No reputable study has ever found such a disparity in rates. Until an actual difference is found, there is literally nothing to explain; there is no point in creating hypotheses to explain something that doesn’t exist.

@ Sicko: You really need to take some reading comprehension courses…before you post here about your “expertise” in immunology, vaccine-preventable diseases, microbiology and pathology. You know you made a fool of yourself on another blog with your unsubstantiated claims about hepatitis B vaccine’s side effects versus the risks of vertical and horizontal transmission of the virus to neonates and young children.

Perhaps you could take some basic science courses, so that you don’t make a fool of yourself again by discussing gene expression, de novo gene mutations and the prenatal environment, which is the cutting edge now, of autism research.

I have every right to comment about Katie Wright’s ability as a “science reporter” and, unlike the sycophant posters at AoA, I find her understanding of basic science and the causes of autism to be woefully lacking. Every time she analyzes a real study done by real researchers, she displays her simplistic one-track mind.

I’m still waiting for her to post here to defend her junk science article and to defend her latest screed.

I have a special interest in her discouraging parents of deceased disabled children to make anatomic gifts of their child’s tissue for research and to meet the needs of people who are in desperate need of donor organs and tissues to restore their health. I’d also like to discuss her illustration of the human brain and the toilet, that is pictured above her article.

Courchesne’s research; win-win situation!

Congratulations on (probably accidentaly) critically thinking. I am surprised.

For those still struggling here’s some simple clues.

1. Vaccination Status

2. Autism

3. Phenotypes

4. Co-morbid conditions

5. Gene Expression

6. Multi factorial.

7. Lamarck

That’s seven differing arguments that could made.

MD1970, Passionless Drome

Congratulations on really starting the debate rolling.

Well done for raising the bar here and extra points for the extra information.

Rachel

Your argument is quite elegant though you may not know the exact biology that underpins it. Apparently Orac doesn’t either so that no biggy.

I wonder if Orac can figure it out ?

Now there’s a challenge.

Funny, how none of the (non-troll) regulars here wanted to compete for “raising the bar” and the “extra points”.

I guess none of us wanted the dubious distinction of being selected for “special honors” bestowed by the perpetually persistent blackheart.

Actually, someone did provide answers to the questions posed by the troll (See dt’s posting at # 12 above). Of course the answers that were given “may” not have been satisfactory for the troll…but then, who cares?

Prior to his intrusion on this blog, I thought his area of “expertise” was in British law and British administrative law. Using an excuse to derail other blogs, he then touted his “expertise” in histopathology with his brilliant dissertations about the tissue samples taken from the intestines of the subjects of Wakefield’s study. He then defended Wakefield’s “discovery” of “autism enterocolitis”. So, now does he claim “expertise” in all aspects of vaccines, their side effects and the diseases they prevent?

Of course, the subject of this particular blog is the newly released study of brain tissue formation found in cadaver brains of autistic children matched to the study of cadaver brain tissue of “normal” boys.

Orac has done a masterful analysis of the cadaver brain study and then did a skillful dissection of Katie Wright”s blog about this study, pointing out the sheer inanity of her analysis of the study as well as her interjecting of “facts” that that are not part of the study. These “elements” led Katie Wright to draw illogical conclusions about the validity of the study.

Being that most of us are polite, we do try to stay on topic. Were it not for the trolls’ derailing postings, we would have not deviated from the discussion at hand.

Autism Now: Dr. Martha Herbert Extended Interview

ROBERT MACNEIL: Do you think vaccines have been exonerated by all the epidemiological studies, which say they are not implicated in autism?

DR. MARTHA HERBERT: Well, with vaccines, what I think is that in the last, let’s say, 10 years, we’ve had such an explosion, particularly of immunology, that we’re learning things about the immune system that we could never even have conceived. We have ways of measuring and studying that we’ve never even conceived. That these things could never possibly have been known when our vaccine system was designed and developed.

And I think we have a really great opportunity to apply this advanced science to making our ways of protecting the population from devastating, infectious disease really powerful and optimal in a way that was never conceivable before. So I think that we know, at the population level, what the statistics are. What we need to know now is what the biology is for each person.

ROBERT MACNEIL: Could there be a subset of children with a genetic predisposition to have a toxic reaction to vaccines that, for the rest of the children, have no adverse affect?

DR. MARTHA HERBERT: I think it’s possible that you could have a genetic subgroup. You also might have an immune subgroup. There are a variety of subgroups. But the problem with the population studies is, they aren’t necessarily designed to have the statistical power to find subgroups like that if the subgroups are small.

@MD1970

And your point is…? Posting random snippets of random interviews is NOT the same as making a cogent argument. At the very least you need to explain why you think the interview is important and present some type of logical framework for it. I realize that this isn’t a college writing class, but seriously, it shouldn’t take much more work to come up with something resembling an argument. If you can’t even do that than you really have no business posting anything. Exceptions can be made for jokes or witty comments, but this doesn’t qualify.

Of course, based on your previous posts I’m probably wasting my breath, but it’s late and I simply can’t help myself.

“Why does it have to be vaccines?”

Because illness is God’s punishment?

Because if someone has a problem it MUST be someone’s fault (preferably someone else’s)?

Because government is telling you to vaccinate (and every nutcase knows that the government is trying to control the world for nefarious purposes)?

It could be a whole lot of reasons.

The base of them all is they’re a nutcase.

Basically, Wright is saying that she used to think she would donate her child’s body to science if he were ever to die

Is anyone else just ever so slightly relieved at Wright’s decision? Maybe I’m over sensitive, but what parent plans what to do with their child’s body if s/he dies? Don’t most parents expect that their children will probably outlive them? It seems like Wright now has one fewer justifications for allowing her child to do dangerous things, perhaps subconsciously hoping for an accident that would rid her of a child she dislikes. Poor kid.

@blackheart 103

Thanks. So I guess you have just provided “evidence” that even IF a genetically “vaccine susceptible” subgroup exists, then even Martha Herbert says it is too small to be statistically identifiable.
Game over.
Are you some form of provaccine agent provocateur planted here to make the antivaccine crowd look even stupider than they are?

As a sidenote, abnormally high neuron count in autism fits quite nicely in evolutionary context. Maybe genetic factors of autism are some combination of alleles responsible – under normal conditions – for brain growth (and development of intelligence) – which were very strongly selected for. That could explain relatively high incidence of autism despite very strong negative selection for autism itself (and without involving environmental factors).

The aptly-named blackheart is a lawyer? Well, that explains a lot.

I was more thinking a Fellow of the English Association of Estate Agents and Valuers.

MD1970, you can sure claim there are susceptible subgroups. But we’re not talking a rare occurrence here, we’re looking at something that affects 1% of the population. With these large numbers, subgroup analysis can be done with pretty decent statistics. So unless a subgroup susceptibility is only present in 10 percent or less of the cases you would find it quickly with the large number of studies done. If the subgroup is getting that small it’s most likely not a significant contributor to the overall disease picture.

Aw, dangit Mu! You stole my thunder! I WAS gonna say: “Well, we tried to get snakes, but Spielberg rented them all.”

Sigh. If only we could make this sign a reality.

(Hmmm, how many folks have seen the Norwegian mockumentary, “Trollhunter”? That could be worth a few laughs.)

Why does it have to be vaccines?

Because vaccination is infection promoting. If Jenner is alive today, he would concur.

@114
1% of the population cannot tolerate the current vaccine schedule for various reasons.

Because vaccination is infection promoting. If Jenner is alive today, he would concur.

Only if Dr. Johnson were* alive today and you could get him to put your unique definition of the word “infection” in his dictionary. Otherwise not.

*Note the subjunctive.

@123. It’s called burden of proof. If someone accused you of placing a curse on someone, is it up to them to prove it true or up to you to prove it false?

@ Chris: Ooooh, now I know why you attract trolls…. Norwegian ancestry. They can sniff you guys out. Big trouble for trolls.

@124- That’s rather a facetious statement for so serious an issue. No one
wants to do the studies and get pilloried.

MD1970:

1% of the population cannot tolerate the current vaccine schedule for various reasons.

That’s fine; they can get medical exemptions and as long as the remaining 99% of us don’t freak out unnecessarily and get ourselves vaccinated, that 1% will be protected by our herd immunity. (For the most part. Tetanus is an exception.) If 1% cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, then honestly, that’s all the more reason for the rest of us to get vaccinated.

@124- That’s rather a facetious statement for so serious an issue. No one
wants to do the studies and get pilloried.

Oh, this is a thing of true crank-a-licious beauty! Savor it: No one has done the studies. That means there is absolutely no evidence for this assertion, but nevertheless it’s gospel…well…just BECAUSE!

That’s fine; they can get medical exemptions and as long as the remaining 99% of us don’t freak out unnecessarily and get ourselves vaccinated, that 1% will be protected by our herd immunity.

See that? They totally disregarded vaccine-induced outbreaks in a highly vaccinated population. Cranks.

“@127- @127- follow the current schedule and wind up 1 in 6 developmentally disabled?”

Let me fix that fer ya….

-follow the brain droppings of MD1970 and wind up with major outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases?

@123; that’s not how it works. Burden of proof always lies upon the claimant, in science and medicine as well as in law.

Thought experiment; if I stand up and say, “MD1970 is a pedophile” and when asked for proof, say, “Prove he/she isn’t!” exactly how far through the justice system should the charge go? Should you be forced to prove your innocence? If so, how often?

As for the fatuous claims about developmental disabilities relating to vaccines, how could a 1% sensitivity in population lead to a 1 in 6 (~16%) incidence? Not only do you not have proof, you don’t even have math…

— Steve

@127- follow the current schedule and wind up 1 in 6 developmentally disabled?

You really are an imbecile, aren’t you? Even if no pathology ever occurred, 15.9%—close enough to one in six—are going to be more than one standard deviation below the mean in any population, anywhere in the world, ever!

Please do not feed delusional, uneducated, disease-promoting health care professional wannabe troll. It needs “terminal disinfection”.

Were it not for the trolls’ derailing postings, we would have not deviated from the discussion at hand.

I disagree. I am perfectly capable of launching off into irrelevant asides without the provocation of a troll.

They’re talking – or should be talking – about people who for immunological reasons, like yeast allergies – cannot take the whole vaccination schedule.

Now, of course, to take this uncontroversial fact and see what leap of equivocation comes next.

I know, I know!

* 1% can’t tolerate the current vaccine schedule
* That means vaccines are harmful to 1%
* Autism incidence is close to 1%
* The numbers are so close!
* Therefore vaccines cause autism

QED

See that? They totally disregarded vaccine-induced outbreaks in a highly vaccinated population. Cranks.

Don’t use of the same assumption; don’t get infected, it’s embarrassing. That is better, keep saying that kids on their natural at that primarily for absolutely, no? But I am miles away because they don’t you meant by. Your self-recognition for you?

Wow, it sounded better than “50% of the population are below the mean”…

…but “more than one standard deviation below the mean are [term for more than one standard deviation below the mean] in a population that has been [something irrelevant to the bell curve]” takes clever dissembling to new heights.

Why is it that cranks like MD1970, Robert Schecter, Thingy and others are so clueless about basic math and statistics?

pD said:

I get about a 75% response rate from corresponding authors when I request papers from them, and a better rate when it is a ‘big’ paper. Thus far, I have no response from the authors.”

Well! Obviously that means They Don’t Want You To Know, at least in pD‘s world. I’ll have to remember that explanation the next time I can’t find full-text of a journal article online without paying for it. Rather than getting it from a medical library, I’ll just speculate as to nefarious motives on the part of the authors, using lots of meaningful punctuation (!!!?!?!?).

If, indeed, a large percentage (or all) of the children in question were macroencephelatic (note-pD still has no evidence of this), then this study really gives us clues towards a phenotype.

But that’s not what you said in your previous post. Key phrase:
“most (or all) (were) macroencepelatic during infancy, further warranting caution in extrapolating the results”
You were trying to cast doubt on the study’s findings rather than expressing curiosity about an autism phenotype.
Maybe there’s misunderstanding surrounding your use of the terms “macroencepelatic” and “macroencephelatic”, which I do not recognize as actual English words.

“I happen to think that the use of ‘toxins’ by both sides of this discussion is a large over simplification.Certainly almost anything on AOA would fall into this classification. Your shoot from the hip assertion above, that ‘actual toxin exposure’ would necessarily result in fewer neurons is just as simplistic.”

Actually, expecting neurotoxins to kill neurons (via apoptosis or other mechanisms) is pretty standard among neuroscience professionals. You could look it up, starting with the Wikipedia entry on neurotoxins. In terms of autism, valproic acid is a drug thought on the basis of at least some preliminary evidence to be associated with a higher risk of autism when expectant mothers take it, and it has been linked to lower neuron counts.

“While the AOA guys don’t seem to understand nuance, that doesn’t mean that we have to follow suit…Are we here to have a cheering club, or approach findings with objectivity?”

“We”?

For casual readers who may not be familiar with pD‘s posts, pD has previously stated here that he is the father of an autistic child, and has devoted many posts on RI to speculating about vaccines causing autism, typically by blaming “inflammatory cytokines” supposedly induced by vaccines, while having zero evidence backing this alleged mechanism as causing autism, and being unconcerned about such cytokines being produced by vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e. it’s gotta be the vaccines).
This background doesn’t prevent pD from possibly presenting valid points on occasion. It does make laughable assertions by pD that he is approaching the subject of the etiology of autism with “objectivity”.

@132 your comments are as stupid as your website,Nym.

Says the guy who doesn’t know how a bell curve works.

Denice @90,you probably mean 22q11.2 deletion,or duplication,something that is well associated with not only ASD,and schizophrenia,and autoimmune/inflammatory disease.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1763000/pdf/v086p00422.pdf

Among other articles.

I have both an ASD diagnosis,as well as a long history of other medical issues.Among these are systemic vasculitis,chronic pneumonia,diet resistant celiac,and a few metabolic problems besides.The same is true of both of my sisters,one of whom is also on the spectrum,the other was diagnosed as schizophrenic in her teens.

I have been shown to have applicable mutations on 22q11.2,and am trying to get tested for the deletion or duplication.

http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/grants/social-cognition-22q112-ds-adolescents-asd-vs-without-asd-imaging-and-genetic-correla

Those of us who have been following this stuff are aware of the study cited by MD1970 @ 88,especially the part about immune regulation,and inflammation,but I have not seen any follow up,about a possible connection to 22q.It may have been those who had donated the “Autism-A” brains had an undiagnosed 22q11.2 deletion or duplication.I am sure a lot of these “vaccine damaged kids”,whose parents go on and on about their complex medical problems no doubt do.

@Callie. The obvious problem here is that the 1% may not even know who they are and we need good quality studies to provide those answers. Not vaccinating babies/children or adults that are sick would also be great.

MD1970:

Phenotypic expression of autoimmune autistic disorder (AAD): a major subset of autism.

By VK Singh, a friend of Wakefield and also Hugh Fudenberg. He is no longer in academic research, but is part of a transfer factor supplement through a Multi-Level-Marketing company, “4Life.” He is also a crank.

Sick Sauce, exactly why would we be interested in your opinions? What makes you qualified to set a vaccination policy?

What makes Brian Deer qualified to carry out his witch hunt? Even more interesting, what enables him to carry out his witch hunt?

Brian Deer is tenacious. He is not alone in criticizing Wakefield. That started in 1999. How are Brent Taylor, Michael Fitzpatrick, Nicholas Chadwick, Ben Goldacre, David Elliman, Helen Bedford and others who wondered why Wakefield was calling for single vaccines without any real data?

” Even more interesting, what enables him to carry out his witch hunt?”

There’s this thing called journalism, in which people called reporters investigate corrupt doctors who mistreat children. Parents and other interested parties who like to know about crooked doctors will actually pay money to such reporters. If you’d like to learn more, local elementary schools might be able to help you

And of course, as I forgot to mention, Brian Deer got a certain amount of money from Andrew Wakefield – Wakefield started a lawsuit against Deer, but when the former doctor realized that if the case ever went to trial, it would be very bad for him, so withdraw his suit, and paid Deer’s legal fees.

@ Andrew, Chris, Rev, D.Bacon:

Oh, we will never get through to these people about AJW. I am reminded a play by Mamet in which an exasperated real estate salesman expresses how impossible making a particular sale would be ( paraphrase):” Smith** buy this property? Never. Even though he has 100000 in his mattress. Even if the price were halved. Never. Even if Jesus** came down ,took him by the hand and said, ‘Buy this property’- he’s not going to buy.” It ain’t gonna happen. WE will never get through to them. It’s almost funny.

-btw- I wonder what does “MD”, as in “MD1970”, stands for? Not “medical doctor” I venture *but* could it be “Michael Something”? MD?

** Anglicised because I don’t like ethnic stereotypes. Uh oh… well, you know what I mean.

@ Sicko: What do you know about journalism? You certainly don’t think that the dreck screeds that you read at AoA is journalism, do you?

Perhaps you think that what you post here is quality journalism…your readers here don’t think so.

Hi Dangerous Bacon –

Well! Obviously that means They Don’t Want You To Know, at least in pD’s world.

Your inability to understand ‘my world’ continues at breakneck pace. Thus far, each of the posts I’ve written on this thread (three) have gone to moderation before showing up; at least I have gotten the moderation message after posting. I doubt this is normal, but perhaps it is. (?!?!?!?!)

Rather than getting it from a medical library, I’ll just speculate as to nefarious motives on the part of the authors, using lots of meaningful punctuation (!!!?!?!?).

While this may surprise you, not all of us have the time to goto a medical library every time they want to read a paper; especially those of us with autistic kids that want to read lots of papers. I’m betting maybe that does surprise you.

Maybe there’s misunderstanding surrounding your use of the terms “macroencepelatic” and “macroencephelatic”, which I do not recognize as actual English words.

I’m pretty sure you knew exactly what I meant. The good news is that I have gotten a copy of the paper, (thank you, anonymous benefactor!), and can report that there is no mention of increased head size (or decreased head size) in the autism group. [Thanks, RAJ.]

Actually, expecting neurotoxins to kill neurons (via apoptosis or other mechanisms) is pretty standard among neuroscience professionals.

But this only goes to show the disingenuous nature of your argument.

Here is your initial statement:

what’s bugging Katie Wright (and probably other members of the vaccines-cause-autism alliance) is that the JAMA report flies in the face of assumptions that vaccine “toxins” cause autism, seeing as how the authors’ preliminary results demonstrated significantly more neurons in the brains of autistic children, while you’d expect fewer neurons in the case of actual toxin exposure.

In the first place, considering your keen interest in my spelling errors, I’m curious as to your rather sudden change from ‘toxin’ to ‘neurotoxin’ that your argument seems to have evolved. Or, is it that in ‘Dangerous Bacon’s world’, all toxins are neurotoxins?

But the intellectual dishonesty of your argument goes much deeper. The entire thrust of Orac’s post, one which I largely agree with, is that the guys and girls who post at AOA don’t have the first clue about what they are talking about, immunology, epidemiology, autism, toxicology, or almost anything else. But, when they say they don’t like ‘toxins’ in their vaccines, not only are they adequately versed in toxicology (but just this once), but they also mean neurotoxins. Wow! You don’t get to apply competency towards a group of people when it is convenient to the argument you would like to make, and incompetency towards the same people, on the same issue, every other time.

In terms of autism, valproic acid is a drug thought on the basis of at least some preliminary evidence to be associated with a higher risk of autism when expectant mothers take it, and it has been linked to lower neuron counts.

Citation required regarding ‘lower neuron counts’. Do your citations include findings from the prefrontal cortex?

Lets say, for the sake of argument, that you are correct. In that case, however, what that means is that the current study, which showed higher neuron counts is a different phenotype than a situation wherein prenatal valporic acid resulted in decreased neuron counts. Is this this your way of saying that you think there are different pathways to autism causation, and for that reason, we shouldn’t extrapolate the findings from Courchesne too widely? Maybe we agree on things after all!

For casual readers who may not be familiar with pD’s posts, pD has previously stated here that he is the father of an autistic child, and has devoted many posts on RI to speculating about vaccines causing autism, typically by blaming “inflammatory cytokines” supposedly induced by vaccines, while having zero evidence backing this alleged mechanism as causing autism, and being unconcerned about such cytokines being produced by vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e. it’s gotta be the vaccines).

Now here is where I am going to post a link and anyone can see for themselves the intellectual bankruptcy of Dangerous Bacon’s representation of my position. The real masochist can read the entire thread and see if I provided ‘zero evidence’ of this alleged mechanism.

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2010/11/the_strange_science_and_ethics_of_the_an.php

Check out comment # 75, where I write, specifically to Dangerous Bacon

But even here, just six posts above I told Calli Arcade that infections during early infancy would have the same functional effect.

Or later in post 75:

Natural infection, LPS, and vaccines all trigger the innate immune system, you aren’t getting around that simple, simple fact, and one of the results of that is the creation of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Or in post 78:

You still don’t understand the concept that the effects of an inflammatory response in vivo as an immediate consequence of a vaccination (or natural stimulation of the immune response) are the focus of my concerns, and why a study that involved months old blood stimulated in vitro to measure responses is a very, very different type of measurement.

Does this sound like someone who is advocating ‘it’s gotta be the vaccines’? Either Dangerous Bacon cannot read, or he is intentionally misrepresenting my positions. [BTW – one of the cases in the autism group in Courchesne was hospitalized for a fever four days after birth. Go figure.]

Finally, for anyone actually interested in the growing body of literature on the effects of early life activation of the immune system, I would recommend some of the following papers, which have come out recently (most, since the post that I just linked to):

A Lifespan Approach to Neuroinflammatory and Cognitive Disorders: A Critical Role for Glia

Or

Microglia and memory: modulation by early-life infection.

Or

Neonatal programming of innate immune function

All of which have similar shades, the immune system and CNS and very tightly coupled in ways that were black swan unknown just a decade ago, and interventions within the immune system during critical developmental timeframes can have widely varied results on the organism. This is a data stream that is only going to get more inconvenient.

This background doesn’t prevent pD from possibly presenting valid points on occasion.

Thank you.

It does make laughable assertions by pD that he is approaching the subject of the etiology of autism with “objectivity”

I’m willing to put my objectivity up against your any time.

– pD

Denice Walter:

-btw- I wonder what does “MD”, as in “MD1970”, stands for? Not “medical doctor” I venture *but* could it be “Michael Something”? MD?

A very cheap unfortified version of MD2020.

Even more interesting, what enables him to carry out his witch hunt?

“Being right” perhaps? Or is that too simple?

Orac, I’m late to this post, but earlier comments prompted me to ask you to consider a post on body donation–how it’s different from organ donation. Donating organs is noble in itself, but the brains in this study likely came from full body donors. When I die, my organs will go to people who need them (though I hope to live long enough to wear them out on my own) AND the rest will go to the University of Minnesota Anatomy department (some schools,I’ve heard, don’t allow both, but MN does). To really help science, it’s important to be more than an organ donor. Of course, I’d rather have my skeleton hanging in a high school science classroom, but this is the next best thing.

This study suggests that, whatever causes autism, it probably happens before birth, not after. If true, that rules out vaccines as a cause.

a) Vaccines – We don’t know the vaccine status of the mother. Therefore we can’t dismiss a role for vaccine either directly or indirectly causative.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/preg-guide.htm

b) Autism – This research addresses Autism not the full spectrum of Autism so this type of physiology has not been shown in say Asperger’s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_spectrum

c) Phenotypes – This study does not address differing phenotypes as identified by University of California researchers.

http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/research/app/

d) Co-morbid conditions – This study does not identify whether the extra cortical cells are directly causative to autism only or may be part of another pathology that is often seen in patients with autism.(Or indeed whether it could be a protective factor for ‘autism’.)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110419003648.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19187292

e) Gene Expression – This study does not elucidate whether the physiology is related to gene expression through ‘insult’ or another mechanism.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22065254

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22030357

f) Multi- factorial – There is no clarity to the research to elucidate whether this ‘single event’ is causative to autism or whether it is a matter of several factors that have to be in play over time.

http://www.cell.com/trends/neurosciences/abstract/S0166-2236%2808%2900038-6

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22085436

g) Lamarck This study does not address the possibility of epigenetic inheritance that has been elucidated by researchers. (One for the real deep thinkers)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518111723.htm

h)Neuroinflammation – This study does not address other physiology such as neuroinflammation and other immune system markers found in CSF autistic patients.

http://www.neuro.jhmi.edu/neuroimmunopath/autism_faqs.htm

i)Brain Growth – This study does not address aberrant brain growth found in autistic patients after birth.Or address other anatomical features found in autism.

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/24/42/9228.full

http://brainposts.blogspot.com/2010/09/common-brain-anatomy-features-in-autism.html

http://www.cell.com/trends/neurosciences/abstract/S0166-2236%2808%2900038-6

j)Regressive Autism – This study does not elucidate the finding by Hornig of 88% regressive autism .

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

MD1970:

[F]ollow the current schedule and wind up 1 in 6 developmentally disabled?

Hmm, compelling at first glance, but then we look at populations that don’t follow the current schedule. What do we see? Mental and developmental disabilities.
MD1970, have you ever heard the term “village idiot”? It was common a few centuries ago, and vaccination didn’t exist back then.
You are assuming that the 1 in 6 rate of developmental disabilities is due to the vaccination schedule. Your assumption is incorrect.

Rachael

but, what the heck do parents know about their own child?

Given the tendency of anti-vaxxer’s to claim that ineffective biomedical autism “treatments” have worked, often not very much.

Are you aware that one of the plaintiffs in the autism omnibus hearing presented pre and post vaccination videotapes of their child as proof that autistic behaviour began after vaccination? In fact the pre-vaccination video clearly showed autistic behaviours.

@ Rachael: I would “go with” the pediatrician’s diagnosis of roseola rather than measles…based on the doctor’s examination of the child:

Roseola is a viral disease commonly known as Sixth’s Disease, usually caused by the Herpes 6 virus. The rash is different than a measles rash; it is a flat rash versus the maculapapular rash of measles. The rash after measles vaccination, that occurs in ~ 5 % of vaccine recipients does not appear for at least 3 days (up to 21 days) after the vaccine is given…not 1 day after, as “claimed” in the video. I’m certain that the physician explained to the parents that the absence of chorizo, cough and Koplix’s xanthum spots in the mouth all rule out a diagnosis of measles.

Thanks however, for your link to the anti-vax videos…it gave me the opportunity to view the hilariously funny “case” of Desiree Jennings.

“In fact the pre-vaccination video clearly showed autistic behaviours.”

***************
Autistic behaviours or signs of introversion? Perhaps, that introverted, intelligent child would have grown up to be an introverted, intelligent adult like many of their parents, if it had not been for the vaccination that induced autism, in the susceptible, sensitive child.

Ooops:

chorizo = spicy Spanish sausage

**coryza = nasal congestion

** It’s been a while since I investigated a measles outbreak.

Half a “gotcha” awarded to any poster who picked up on my mistake.

Rachael,

With regards to your videos: So what? Correlation does not imply causation. In easier terms: Just because event B happens kind-of-right after event A, it doesn’t mean that A caused B.

Another response: Anecdotes aren’t data. Individual stories don’t prove causation either. Larger scale studies on the proposed vaccine-autism link have failed to show any significant correlation.

That “kind-of-right after” brings in another fallacy: the Texas Sharpshooter. You can show all kinds of “correlation” if you draw the circle big or small enough. In some of the so-called vaccine injury cases, the “kind-of-right after” was something on the order of months. As Militant Agnostic pointed out above, there are cases where “kind-of-right after” was really “some time before.”

Anecdotes of supposed correlation are the start of the process to find a cause, not the end of the process. From small-scale anecdotes we go to larger, controlled studies. If those show a significant correlation, we work on proposed mechanisms and then we design experiments to validate those hypotheses. So far, the vaccine-autism idea (not even an hypothesis) has failed to show any correlation in larger studies, and has failed to propose a plausible mechanism. Lots of wild speculation, but nothing substantive.

So, those videos may “prove” a link to you, but to anyone with functioning rational capabilities, they’re just emotional noise.

@ Rachael:

I really think that introversion and autism should be considered separately- yes, I’ve seen speculation about this: I don’t want to go into the whole history of introversion/ extroversion as a concept but here’s a few things to consider- introverts may be very well versed in social cognition- trying to understand other people, thinking recursively, being sensitive to subtle communications like gesture, facial expression, prosody; extroverts are not necessarily as “tuned in”,; then there’s the reflective/ impulsive dimension- I could easily imagine arguing a link in the opposite direction. I personally might test fairly highly on measures of introversion but am painfully aware of non-verbal signals et al and my score on ASQ basically doesn’t register.

If you like material like this go to sites that are science based or take a course in general psychology at a 2 or 4 year college. AoA, NVIC, NaturalNews, Progressive Radio Network etc do not provide reality-based information in the life/social sciences. I could write a book on this.

@Rachael:
First of all, I’d like to say that I sympathize with Madison and her parents. It is unfortunate that this has happened.

However, just by stating that her decline started immediately post vaccination doesn’t prove that the vaccine caused it.

From a logical perspective:

1. To a person who does not know what parameters to look for while determining the growth and development of a child (like the parents and the target audience for the video) the child may look like she is developing normally but they may miss subtle signs. The information provided in the video is not adequate to determine that the child was growing and developing normally up until the vaccination. For e.g. only her gross motor skill (sitting without support) has been mentioned with the age (5 months). What about the chronology of other milestones? Other than gross motor skills, what about specific fine motor skills and the age at which they were achieved? What the chronology of the milestones indicative of social development? Obviously, these aren’t questions that the target audience of the video are going to be asking because most would not know that these are important criteria to consider.

The eye sees only what the mind knows. Which is why an expert maybe able to detect subtle signs (because s/he knows what to look for) which parents may not.

To illustrate, you have had your heart all your life. But, I’m sure you are not aware of what the normal events during the cardiac cycle are; what their normal duration is; or what the specific pressure changes should be in each chamber of the heart. You also wouldn’t know the molecular mechanisms responsible for contraction of the muscle fibres or how the energy is supplied or how the control mechanisms work. In fact, if you have not been taught or have not taught yourself the anatomy of the heart, you probably are not even familiar with the normal anatomy of the heart, either. Without knowing the normal (even though you have been in possession of it all your life), how do you expect to know the abnormal?
Similarly, just because they are the parents and have been seeing the child since birth does not mean that nothing unusual will elude them. They have to first know that it is unusual. And as far as subtle signs are concerned, they are after all, subtle.

2. If the child already had subtle signs OR sub-clinical changes which were eventually going to lead to her decline into clinical symptoms it is still possible that the age around which the (noticeable) decline were to start could be around the same age at which the vaccines are administered. That doesn’t implicate vaccines as the cause. It just means that vaccination is an event which occurred in parallel to beginning of the clinical decline.

3. The much touted

immunological mechanisms have been seen to be highly active in autistic brains Immunological mechanisms are responsible for autism” + “vaccines stimulate immunological phenomena” = “vaccines cause autism”

equation is again fallacious:

a] Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it – why don’t you implicate them? Considering that the vaccines contain the same antigens as (in most cases, lesser antigens than) the pathogen against which it provides immunity, how is it any different from being exposed to the pathogenic strains of the organism? Without MMR vaccination, the child will get measles, mumps and rubella (especially when the herd immunity goes down) and will still be exposed to the same antigens as those in the vaccine. If natural infection with greater antigenic exposure isn’t a trigger for autism, why should the same antigenic exposure (but iatrogenically) cause autism?

b] Again, just because immunological activity has been found to be high in the autistic brain tissue samples, does not mean that it is the cause. The other possibilities are –

i) The cause of autism could be a defect in a cellular signalling pathway which causes faulty neuronal migration. The disruption of this same signalling pathway genes could also make the signalling between leukocytes abnormal leading to an abnormal immunological functioning. In that case the, findings would be indicative of two parallel phenomena, NOT “cause and effect”.

ii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified misfolded protein. This misfolding may alter its function probably causing autism. This misfolding may also alter its immunological properties to which the immune system maybe reacting.

iii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified pathogen to which the immune system maybe reacting. Thus the pathogen may be directly responsible or the immune reaction to that pathogen maybe responsible for the development of autism.

iv) The cause of autism could be an immune reaction against a sequestered antigen in the CNS getting exposed. This exposure again can have so many causes.

You see, the surety with which you draw your conclusions from the equation above is because of your lack of knowledge of pathophysiology and your inability to consider other possibilities based on it. Yet again, the eyes see only what the mind knows.

Having spoken of the multiple possibilities which could logically follow from your observations (unlike your ability to see only one logical possibility), let us consider what reality says: 14 years after the “vaccine causes autism scare”, multiple studies have been conducted and no reputable, well designed study has shown that there is a causal link between vaccination and autism. Studies to which the regular posters have frequently posted links on this forum. Please feel free to check them out. If you detect a flaw in those studies (other than that they do not support your notions) please point them out to us.

Racheal

Autistic behaviours or signs of introversion?

The autism experts who actually viewed the tape said Autistic – not introversion. Generally, informed export opinion trumps wishful speculation.

@Rachael:
First of all, I’d like to say that I sympathize with Madison and her parents. It is unfortunate that this has happened.

However, just by stating that her decline started immediately post vaccination doesn’t prove that the vaccine caused it.

From a logical perspective:

1. To a person who does not know what parameters to look for while determining the growth and development of a child (like the parents and the target audience for the video) the child may look like she is developing normally but they may miss subtle signs. The information provided in the video is not adequate to determine that the child was growing and developing normally up until the vaccination. For e.g. only her gross motor skill (sitting without support) has been mentioned with the age (5 months). What about the chronology of other milestones? Other than gross motor skills, what about specific fine motor skills and the age at which they were achieved? What the chronology of the milestones indicative of social development? Obviously, these aren’t questions that the target audience of the video are going to be asking because most would not know that these are important criteria to consider.

The eye sees only what the mind knows. Which is why an expert maybe able to detect subtle signs (because s/he knows what to look for) which parents may not.

To illustrate, you have had your heart all your life. But, I’m sure you are not aware of what the normal events during the cardiac cycle are; what their normal duration is; or what the specific pressure changes should be in each chamber of the heart. You also wouldn’t know the molecular mechanisms responsible for contraction of the muscle fibres or how the energy is supplied or how the control mechanisms work. In fact, if you have not been taught or have not taught yourself the anatomy of the heart, you probably are not even familiar with the normal anatomy of the heart, either. Without knowing the normal (even though you have been in possession of it all your life), how do you expect to know the abnormal?
Similarly, just because they are the parents and have been seeing the child since birth does not mean that nothing unusual will elude them. They have to first know that it is unusual. And as far as subtle signs are concerned, they are after all, subtle.

2. If the child already had subtle signs OR sub-clinical changes which were eventually going to lead to her decline into clinical symptoms it is still possible that the age around which the (noticeable) decline were to start could be around the same age at which the vaccines are administered. That doesn’t implicate vaccines as the cause. It just means that vaccination is an event which occurred in parallel to beginning of the clinical decline.

3. The much touted

immunological mechanisms have been seen to be highly active in autistic brains Immunological mechanisms are responsible for autism” + “vaccines stimulate immunological phenomena” = “vaccines cause autism”

equation is again fallacious:

a] Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it – why don’t you implicate them? Considering that the vaccines contain the same antigens as (in most cases, lesser antigens than) the pathogen against which it provides immunity, how is it any different from being exposed to the pathogenic strains of the organism? Without MMR vaccination, the child will get measles, mumps and rubella (especially when the herd immunity goes down) and will still be exposed to the same antigens as those in the vaccine. If natural infection with greater antigenic exposure isn’t a trigger for autism, why should the same antigenic exposure (but iatrogenically) cause autism?

b] Again, just because immunological activity has been found to be high in the autistic brain tissue samples, does not mean that it is the cause. The other possibilities are –

i) The cause of autism could be a defect in a cellular signalling pathway which causes faulty neuronal migration. The disruption of this same signalling pathway genes could also make the signalling between leukocytes abnormal leading to an abnormal immunological functioning. In that case the, findings would be indicative of two parallel phenomena, NOT “cause and effect”.

ii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified misfolded protein. This misfolding may alter its function probably causing autism. This misfolding may also alter its immunological properties to which the immune system maybe reacting.

iii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified pathogen to which the immune system maybe reacting. Thus the pathogen may be directly responsible or the immune reaction to that pathogen maybe responsible for the development of autism.

iv) The cause of autism could be an immune reaction against a sequestered antigen in the CNS getting exposed. This exposure again can have so many causes.

You see, the surety with which you draw your conclusions from the equation above is because of your lack of knowledge of pathophysiology and your inability to consider other possibilities based on it. Yet again, the eyes see only what the mind knows.

Having spoken of the multiple possibilities which could logically follow from your observations (unlike your ability to see only one logical possibility), let us consider what reality says: 14 years after the “vaccine causes autism scare”, multiple studies have been conducted and no reputable, well designed study has shown that there is a causal link between vaccination and autism. Studies to which the regular posters have frequently posted links on this forum. Please feel free to check them out. If you detect a flaw in those studies (other than that they do not support your notions) please point them out to us.

@ Rachael: Things getting a little “hot” for you here? Why not toddle over to AoA where they have a posting moderation policy of excluding any real science…and including any crank theory about precipitating factors (vaccines) “causing” autism?

You do know the difference between personality traits and developmental disabilities, don’t you?

Denice Walter has offered you some good advice about taking some courses at your local community college; I suggest that you register for Psychology 101 to learn the difference between introverted and extroverted personality traits.

Let us know how you fare in Psychology 101…then we could suggest some other, more advanced courses in normal early child development versus early developmental lags observed in children with developmental disabilities.

To all the know-it-alls (with very inflated egos), who really know nothing: I said it once and I’ll say it again … one of the near-universal characteristics of autism is introversion. Introverts tend to be highly-sensitive and many are gifted in math, science, music or art, just like many children who are autistic. Autism experts say, that they recognize the subtle signs present in infants as young as six months and some dispute claims from parents that say, that their children were completely normal, prior to a vaccination, but, perhaps, those signs were just those of a normal, developing introverted child. Introversion is hard-wired in the brain from birth. It is not an illness, a handicap or a social problem, but introverts do tend to have a lower baseline for arousal and have more brain activity in general, specifically in the frontal lobes (seen on PET scans). They are usually more sensitive to noise and sounds. It’s a trait born in about a quarter of the population.

Seeing as many parents of autistic children have said, that their child’s autism developed after receiving a vaccination and considering that vaccines stimulate the immune system, perhaps the extra sensitive, sometimes, gifted child would have developed into a normal, healthy, happy, intelligent introverted adult like many of their parents, if he/she had not been given that inoculation that damaged their brain.

I’ve got to speak to the “parents know their kids the best” thing: as the father of two autistic boys, I have to say no to this. I knew plenty about autism before my first son was born – a friend had a severely autistic cousin who I helped watch on occasion, and I had researched autism a fair amount to present information to the special education class I took as an education major – but I didn’t really suspect that he was showing signs of autism until after he had been receiving Early Intervention therapy (DT, OT, speech) for about a year. He did regress: he had a vocabulary of a few words (e.g. “Mama”) that he lost for a while, but there was no noticeable event that we could have linked it to, certainly not any of his vaccinations.

On the other hand, with our second son (who was about six months old when our oldest was diagnosed), we knew what to look for, and it was evident from a very early age that he was showing signs, and our developmental pediatrician diagnosed him at 18 months.

So no, I don’t trust – or expect – that the average parent will “know” their child well enough to link regression or signs of autism to any specific event. There’s a reason that it takes a professional to make such a diagnosis, and virtually no parent will have the training or experience to know what it is happening with their child developmentally.

Rachael:

An anecdote for you.
I am an introvert, from a family of introverts. All of my parents’ descendents have had the full range of vaccines recommended for the places we live and have travelled. There are introverted children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Not one is on the autism spectrum.

The only one suspected of having autism was me.
I was examined by an autism specialist a few years back to see if I had Asperger’s (I won’t go into why). She categorically denied that I was on the spectrum. She thought my symptoms were caused by enormous stress I was going through at the time. The symptoms (and stress) are now resolved.

The point of this is that anecdotes can be used to “prove” anything. Since my anecdote is as valid as yours, do I get to claim it as “proof” that vaccines have no role in causing autism? No I don’t.

The answer lies in scientific investigation and methods – epidemiology, experimentation, statistical analysis etc.
As has been said many times – people are easy to fool – and the easiest person to fool is yourself. Science, done properly, avoids this.

TBruce: And I am also an introvert and a gifted portrait artist. I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome about 25 years ago; another group of people who are maligned, disbelieved and disregarded by the medical community. I have been researching on my own behalf for many of those years and became very interested in the cross-over “similarities” between autism and CFS. I now believe CFS is an autoimmune illness. Thanks to my own research I have my illness, somewhat, under control.

While, I am sure some children are born with Asperger’s or autism, I also believe that some children’s autism was induced by an environmental trigger; a stimulation or change in the immune system, in the sensitive, introverted brain of a developing child.

pD said:

“Your inability to understand ‘my world’ continues at breakneck pace. Thus far, each of the posts I’ve written on this thread (three) have gone to moderation before showing up; at least I have gotten the moderation message after posting. I doubt this is normal, but perhaps it is. (?!?!?!?!)”

This is standard conspiratorial fare from our antivax contingent. I have seen a number of my own posts go to moderation when there is but a single included link, or even sometimes when there is no link at all. pD needs to recognize that there is no plot to silence him or the vociferously loony antivax commenters.
As for accessibility of the JAMA article under discussion, there are plenty of us who have not had immediate access to it (or other newly published fare), but who’d prefer to make the effort to search it out rather than gripe about how the authors were keeping if from us deliberately, while speculating groundlessly about a physical characteristic of the subjects potentially invalidating the study (congratulations for finally acknowledging that there’s no evidence of this). Seeing as how your specialty on RI has been a Gish-Galloping citation-fest of minimally relevant articles, I’d been under the impression that you had multiple journal subscriptions and a “world-class” article-review service (like the Geier’s “world-class” lab in their basement), but maybe not.

“Citation required regarding ‘lower neuron counts’. Do your citations include findings from the prefrontal cortex?”

See, this is an example why it is often fruitless to try to debate with you. You make an assertion, it is contradicted, then you try to weasel around it by creating new conditions. This happened awhile back when you claimed that there was no research investigating inflammatory cytokine production in connection with vaccines. When I demonstrated to you that indeed there was, I got responses on the order of “well, they didn’t look at these cytokines”, didn’t delve as deeply as you thought they should, etc., never admitting that you got caught out in an inaccurate statement.

This is the poster accusing me of intellectual dishonesty. Irony meters explode.

What we do agree on currently is that the JAMA study under discussion offers some interesting if limited evidence deserving of further study, and that parents of autistic children shouldn’t condemn and withhold their support of research if it produces findings contrary to their beliefs.

I’m willing to put my objectivity up against your any time.”

I’ve never said that I’m “objective”. I think vaccines have provided enormous public health benefits while establishing an excellent safety record, and that repeated attempts to damage public faith in them through specious arguments and bad science need to be counteracted through good evidence and effective public relations. Fairness demands that quality evidence be weighed and accepted even if it runs against long-held beliefs. “Objectivity”, in daily life or reporting in the media, is not a quality we can expect in human beings, and I am especially wary of those who claim to be objective, particularly when they have repeatedly given us examples of why they are not.

@ Mu:
I suspect that their web browsing leads them to many psych topics- I wonder if “risky shift” is next? I do hope so!

One of the problems with picking and choosing as though you were at a buffet dinner is that there is no overview that comes from in-depth study guided by professionals in the field. I read/ hear this perpetually: we have Mike Adams talking about cognition and Gary Null expounding his own “theories” of personality and counselling – nonsense that is inferior to the comic efforts my undergrad pals would write up for sport. They display their *lack* of understanding- but their adoring audience doesn’t realise it because they themselves *lack* the formal knowledge that would enable them to discern the ineptitude unfurled before them. The mis-information is tailored cargo-cult fashion to resemble “science” and “research”: catch phrases are chosen carefully.

The funny thing is that science is open to anyone who wants to read and study. Woo-meisters want non-scientists to believe that it is a “closed society” or “secret cult” slamming the door on outsiders- it’s the reverse. Education is costly and time-consuming- there are no short-cuts but free/inexpensive education is available; over 200 years ago there were “coffee houses” where modernists talked and discussed the “new”. We now have the cyber-salon.

( Oh Lord! This is supposed to be my holiday week : Wed-Sun… oh well)

Rachael @177:
I’m trying to suppress my inflated ego and my natural dismissiveness. Bear in mind that these are actually my introvert strategies for dealing with unwanted stimulation from outside.

I am happy to accept that the difference between introverts’ and extroverts’ behaviour is accompanied by differences in the patterns of brain activity in functional-imaging studies. It would be a wonder if there was no connection. But these are *subtle* differences; you can’t look at a snapshot of a person’s brain activity and say “She’s an introvert!”

So when you say “The brain processes information much differently in introverts, than in extroverts”, that’s where I think you’re drawing too long a bow. The neurons are the same, the cortical pathways are the same, the difference in the overall distribution of activity is subtle.

And crucially, there’s no hint of *any* difference in immune response (if there were, wouldn’t introverts also be more vulnerable to childhood diseases, and therefore more in need of immunisation?). If someone had found a genetic difference between introverts and extroverts that produced an identifiable difference in their neurons — a special allele for one of the neurotransmitter receptors, for instance — *then* there would be some point to wondering if they are more vulnerable to an immune-system response.

Autism experts say, that they recognize the subtle signs present in infants as young as six months who are at risk for developing autism. but, perhaps those signs were just those of a normal, developing introverted child.

Serious question here. Has anyone reported infant markers of introversion, i.e. behavioural signs in infants who grow up to be introverted?
I know there’s a 1999 paper by Schwartz, Snidman & Kagan about ‘reserved’, inhibited, avoidant infants, who tended to be inhibited and reserved when they were assessed as teenagers — but ‘inhibition’ is not the same thing as ‘introversion’.

I wonder if passsionlessDrone is or has become an antivaccine. Because I remember him in SBM being a provax. Good to see these bunch of infection promoters have learned their lessons the hard way.

@The Christian Cynic

Your experience is not unusual. Prospective studies of children as they develop ASD show that the parents of children with ASD routinely miss the subtle early signs of ASD as the condition develops in their younger children; in fact, even such “experienced” parents regularly miss the development of regression.

Here’s an example:

http://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2010/webprogram/Paper7432.html

Of course, the physical signs associated with ASD can be detected much earlier, since in infants eye movements or muscle tone can be assessed more easily than can behaviors.

I would “go with” the pediatrician’s diagnosis of roseola rather than measles…based on the doctor’s examination of the child:

I’d bet if this child happened to be unvaccinated, the doctor would have diagnosed the child with measles based on clinical whim.

The rash is different than a measles rash; it is a flat rash versus the maculapapular rash of measles. The rash after measles vaccination, that occurs in ~ 5 % of vaccine recipients does not appear for at least 3 days (up to 21 days) after the vaccine is given…not 1 day after, as “claimed” in the video. I’m certain that the physician explained to the parents that the absence of chorizo, cough and Koplix’s xanthum spots in the mouth all rule out a diagnosis of measles.

You clearly are ignorant about modified measles induced by live attenuated measles vaccine.

Wow……

My first visit to Orac’s blog in a while, and I see that Th1Th2 still posts here.

You going to try to back up that last assertion, or do you give up?

Supero,

You going to try to back up that last assertion, or do you give up?

It’s funny you’re a half-century late.

Immunizing properties of live attenuated measles virus

The Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 57, Issue 1, July 1960, Pages 36-41

Early clinical trials indicate that it is possible to immunize children with live attenuated measles virus. The susceptible subjects develop either no symptoms at all or a modified measles with fever, leukopenia, and a faint eruption. Koplik spots are uncommon. These children have no catarrhal symptoms and do not appear toxic. All of the susceptible children developed a significant titer of neutralizing antibodies. No complications occurred in any of our cases. The urgent need of a measles vaccine is stressed, and there are indications that measles immunization as a routine procedure may not be too distant.

Thanks for stopping by and come again.

“It’s the vaccines dummies.”

With such an eloquent statement, I’m convinced. Who needs scientifically sound studies and published peer reviewed articles anyway?

Ah, I see Rachael is going with the “parents know their child best”. shtick.

I’ve got a 2-month old baby. I’m not going to pretend I know his development better than professional pediatricians or nurses who work with hundreds (or even thousands) of children in their careers and who study the literature on child development.

I know that meticulously-gathered evidence trumps fallible perception every time. Apparently, Rachael doesn’t.

@ Antaeus Feldspar
Even if Rachael might not appreciate it I like it when you go analytical.
I’ve got an anecdote about that gorilla video. When I studied neurobiology our Professor showed us that video. In our class of 32 people I was the only one that noticed the gorilla.
1/32.
The gorilla was bleeding obvious and only one spotted it. What does that tell you about eyewitness accounts? And for the record my classmates thought I was totally bonkers when I started laughing and talking about a gorilla.

The gorilla was bleeding obvious and only one spotted it.

Some people are just unfocused and inattentive and easily distracted.

Do everything he responded. Orac thrive? Unless Orac I just could have any medication whatsoever, unless you then wore gloves again. It’s just like a better idea.

You’re late. As the next to humans.

I’ve got a 2-month old baby. I’m not going to pretend I know his development better than professional pediatricians or nurses who work with hundreds (or even thousands) of [debilitated] children in their careers and who study the literature on child development.

Your child is more than welcome, otherwise educate yourself. Don’t pretend.

@ Antaeus Feldspar
Even if Rachael might not appreciate it I like it when you go analytical.

Thank you for saying so! I have to say, it’s really nice to hear that someone appreciated that post, ’cause it’s kind of obvious Rachael didn’t pay any attention. “See, here’s why eyewitness accounts don’t convince scientists the way that you think they might.” “Oh, yeah?? Well, here’s an eyewitness account! Didn’t expect me to totally crush you like that, did you??”

I’ve got an anecdote about that gorilla video. When I studied neurobiology our Professor showed us that video. In our class of 32 people I was the only one that noticed the gorilla.

1/32.

The gorilla was bleeding obvious and only one spotted it. What does that tell you about eyewitness accounts? And for the record my classmates thought I was totally bonkers when I started laughing and talking about a gorilla.

1/32? Wow! I have an anecdote, too, but it’s only about a 2/3: me showing the video to my brother and his friend on the computer, and finishing off with “woud you believe, half the people on average don’t see the gorilla?” A pause, and then my brother, half-laughing, half-hesitant: “… what gorilla?”

@ Antaeus Feldspar
Even our Prof was slightly surprised at those numbers. Two of the reasons for those numbers could’ve been not wanting to be classified as weird by claiming to have seen a gorilla and the other one being that specific lecture. We were talking about trying to keep track of several things at the same time, and I guess people was totally focused on the ball.

I like this blog so much, everyday it teaches/show me something new. Reading this one (and a couple of other ones) is one of the reasons I got a very very good grade on an assignment that basically was about implementing critical thinking and not being afraid of criticising even well known researchers.

My fellow and sister minions:

Brave and exquisitely reasoned responses- however any argument provided by our opponents will eventually be reducible to vaccines. Either the vaccines do damage all on their own or in conjunction with a condition that already exists in the child.

Whether their follow-up shifts into conspiratorial gear ( re AJW) or waxes psychological ( as above), it always boils down to an objection about vaccines. Counsellors often return again and again to the central issue presented: we should do the same.

brian mentions very early signs : I wonder if when this becomes more general knowledge how *it* will be circumambulated? Perhaps then the new suspect will be the earliest vaccines ( day of birth) or even vaccines that “damaged” the mother during or prior to pregnancy. We have heard that even unvaccinated children suffer from their mother’s childhood vaccine “damage”.

And whoever points this out or shoots holes in conspiracy theories that prop up the failed vaccine-autism hypothesis will be labelled a pharma shill. I really should start investing in these companies** and claim my well-earned portion of limitless wealth.

** I only own pharma via mutual funds that I inherited.

“Your child is more than welcome, otherwise educate yourself. Don’t pretend.”

Th1Th2bot Holiday Remote Ops, you put the wrong user name on #194. You accidentally labeled that one as Th1Th2.

(slightly OT) My autistic grandson is visiting us for the weekend. He has improved so much in these past three years. Still lagging verbally, but I was thrilled to hear he likes to play school – what an opportunity to help him with skills!

(back to the topic)
I was amused – when I first attempted to try to comment on the article ORAC reviewed AofA had already banned the previously used email address (please, please don’t ban me!). I was rather shocked. I’m pretty sure my last comment over at AofA was very polite and actually in the form of a question, even.

Regularly, between posts, attitude and evidence I am further assured that the assertion above that there is no “elite closed club” in science-based medicine, but rather, just a big difference between the education levels that allow understanding is a very true thing. Some write more accessible posts than others, but I love what I’ve been learning as I’ve lurked on these blogs.

@Rachael:
First of all, I’d like to say that I sympathize with Madison and her parents. It is unfortunate that this has happened.

However, just by stating that her decline started immediately post vaccination doesn’t prove that the vaccine caused it.

From a logical perspective:

1. To a person who does not know what parameters to look for while determining the growth and development of a child (like the parents and the target audience for the video) the child may look like she is developing normally but they may miss subtle signs. The information provided in the video is not adequate to determine that the child was growing and developing normally up until the vaccination. For e.g. only her gross motor skill (sitting without support) has been mentioned with the age (5 months). What about the chronology of other milestones? Other than gross motor skills, what about specific fine motor skills and the age at which they were achieved? What the chronology of the milestones indicative of social development? Obviously, these aren’t questions that the target audience of the video are going to be asking because most would not know that these are important criteria to consider.

The eye sees only what the mind knows. Which is why an expert maybe able to detect subtle signs (because s/he knows what to look for) which parents may not.

To illustrate, you have had your heart all your life. But, I’m sure you are not aware of what the normal events during the cardiac cycle are; what their normal duration is; or what the specific pressure changes should be in each chamber of the heart. You also wouldn’t know the molecular mechanisms responsible for contraction of the muscle fibres or how the energy is supplied or how the control mechanisms work. In fact, if you have not been taught or have not taught yourself the anatomy of the heart, you probably are not even familiar with the normal anatomy of the heart, either. Without knowing the normal (even though you have been in possession of it all your life), how do you expect to know the abnormal?
Similarly, just because they are the parents and have been seeing the child since birth does not mean that nothing unusual will elude them. They have to first know that it is unusual. And as far as subtle signs are concerned, they are after all, subtle.

2. If the child already had subtle signs OR sub-clinical changes which were eventually going to lead to her decline into clinical symptoms it is still possible that the age around which the (noticeable) decline were to start could be around the same age at which the vaccines are administered. That doesn’t implicate vaccines as the cause. It just means that vaccination is an event which occurred in parallel to beginning of the clinical decline.

3. The much touted

immunological mechanisms have been seen to be highly active in autistic brains Immunological mechanisms are responsible for autism” + “vaccines stimulate immunological phenomena” = “vaccines cause autism”

equation is again fallacious:

a] Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it – why don’t you implicate them? Considering that the vaccines contain the same antigens as (in most cases, lesser antigens than) the pathogen against which it provides immunity, how is it any different from being exposed to the pathogenic strains of the organism? Without MMR vaccination, the child will get measles, mumps and rubella (especially when the herd immunity goes down) and will still be exposed to the same antigens as those in the vaccine. If natural infection with greater antigenic exposure isn’t a trigger for autism, why should the same antigenic exposure (but iatrogenically) cause autism?

b] Again, just because immunological activity has been found to be high in the autistic brain tissue samples, does not mean that it is the cause. The other possibilities are –

i) The cause of autism could be a defect in a cellular signalling pathway which causes faulty neuronal migration. The disruption of this same signalling pathway genes could also make the signalling between leukocytes abnormal leading to an abnormal immunological functioning. In that case the, findings would be indicative of two parallel phenomena, NOT “cause and effect”.

ii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified misfolded protein. This misfolding may alter its function probably causing autism. This misfolding may also alter its immunological properties to which the immune system maybe reacting.

iii) The cause of autism could be a yet unidentified pathogen to which the immune system maybe reacting. Thus the pathogen may be directly responsible or the immune reaction to that pathogen maybe responsible for the development of autism.

iv) The cause of autism could be an immune reaction against a sequestered antigen in the CNS getting exposed. This exposure again can have so many causes.

You see, the surety with which you draw your conclusions from the equation above is because of your lack of knowledge of pathophysiology and your inability to consider other possibilities based on it. Yet again, the eyes see only what the mind knows.

Having spoken of the multiple possibilities which could logically follow from your observations (unlike your ability to see only one logical possibility), let us consider what reality says: 14 years after the “vaccine causes autism scare”, multiple studies have been conducted and no reputable, well designed study has shown that there is a causal link between vaccination and autism. Studies to which the regular posters have frequently posted links on this forum. Please feel free to check them out. If you detect a flaw in those studies (other than that they do not support your notions) please point them out to us.

@passionless Drone,
pD, I’m still interested in how you think my son fits into your hypothesis. As a younger sibling, he was exposed to a lot more immune challenges as an infant than my older child. This includes, as we’ve discussed before, his first cold at only three weeks old (we jury rigged raising one end of the pack’n’play bassinet with phone book to elevate his head to help drain his runny nose). He had his first ear infection subsequent to a bad cold at five and a half months. There were numerous colds in between. And he also had the full immunization schedule in 2006-7.

At five years old, he’s one of the most outgoing people I know. Heck, he has better people skills as a kindergartner than I’ve ever had. While he does have a history of being very routine driven, apart from that he’s pretty much as opposite of autistic as a child could get.

So, pD, now what? Is my child an outlier, a freak of nature, who by random chance escaped the neurological changes leading to autism in spite of repeated early immune system activation? Or will you consider that your hypothesis might not be as robust as you assume?

Parents know their child best?

Some things maybe. But I recall feeling a fool with my own baby on my lap and the doc pointing out a particular action. Whoops! Absolutely incontrovertible sign of pain in the ear. Thanks very much. I will get that prescription filled pronto.

And many years later, dealing with other people’s children. Educational not medical, but some clients referred to specialists because of sight and hearing issues.

People really do _not_ notice that their children exhibit classic signs of illness or distress or disability which are glaringly obvious to a professional. The number of times I’ve had to ring families to ask if something’s gone wrong … and been told grandma sick, pet dog died, house move or divorce in the offing.

Why did you ask? they say. Well, I noticed that your Johnny/Jenny was having some problems. Varies from child to child, but professionals really can observe things about children that parents haven’t noticed themselves.

Parents know their child best?

Okay, I know this is a second hand story, but take it like all anecdotes:

The elementary school my kids went to had a deaf/hard of hearing program. It used to be large, but was then down to less than a dozen children (and has since moved to another building).

One year a pair of twins came into the program as kindergarteners. Which was unusual because children usually enter the D/HH program in preschool (like my son did for his severe speech disorder, a program that was an offshoot of the D/HH program).

The speech therapist told me that the parents had no clue their twins had a hearing impairment. They had enrolled them in their neighborhood kindergarten, and it was the teacher that noticed the kids were not responding. Also, they do an evaluation of every child who enters kindergarten, and they have caught a few who needed assistance.

Which is how a preschool classmate of my daughter finally got speech/language services (I had been dealing with my son’s issues for at least five years). I had noticed the child was not quite up to par in verbal communication. So I gave the parents a list of free to low cost speech services in our area, but they never did anything. They just became offended when I kept forgetting he was only a year younger than my daughter due to his small size and delayed language. Well, his speech/language delay was caught by the kindergarten screening program.

I also have personal experience of parents not discovering an issue with their child. We moved three times when I was in kindergarten, and my Army officer dad was very busy with issues dealing with the Cold War, and getting ready to go to Vietnam. No one noticed that the recurrent ear infections had caused me to slowly lose much of my hearing. It was finally noticed by a first grade teacher in California. It was there that I finally got treated, and received some catch up speech therapy. (that same school district also realized my brother was not learning disabled, and moved him out of the low end track to a regular classroom)

Then there was the Nanny’s Elbow my daughter had… talk about guilt for realizing she really was in pain (she dislocated her elbow by just sliding off of an armchair using her arms). The doctor just popped the elbow back in place, told us it was common and one thing that could make doctors miracle workers.

I know these are just anecdotes. But time and time again, there is evidence that parents really don’t see everything, nor understand everything that happens to their child. And a search on PubMed reveals there is ongoing research on young children in video: PubMed search for “autism video infant”.

@Rachael:
Autism is not the extreme end of being an introvert.
Autism is not starting out as an introvert + vaccine causation. Please see above.
Yes, some traits or behaviors overlap. Not all.
In fact, I’d wager there are more traits that don’t overlap than do.
If you wish to continue the discussion, I will.

An outside person can notice things, someone who is around all the time, doesn’t notice. An anecdote:
My parents had 2 cats, brother and sister. The brother was just nurtured and at some point I saw the sister was gaining volume, so I suggested she was pregnant, something my parents didn’t notice and because the brother just had been nurtured, they thought it couldn’t be. They called the vetenarian, who stated, nurturing the male, didn’t mean he was infertile from day one. The female appeared to be pregnant indeed.

People may be motivated to in-attend to certain cues they observe that are *disturbing* to them- the flip side of the coin is seeing what they would prefer to see- it’s feasible that negative signs of development might be ignored as surely as expected improvement would be high-lighted. It’s important for families ( I did some advising way back-not ASD) to keep written- and dated- track of events, interventions, meds, illnesses, appointments. Memories have a way of transforming and melting together. Many people have the mistaken idea that there is some sort of infallible video-like record that can be easily accessed.

I like that Antaeus discusses the un-reliability of eye-witness testimony ( see Loftus); another illustration involves memory of sentence fragments ( meaningful)- subjects are shown combinations of fragments either alone, two together, and three together. Later they are most confident of having seen *four* together- which never happened! Meaning acts like a magnet and what clumps together often isn’t there because what actually occured but because the meanings “fit” together. I think I just explained woo-ful theory-generation as well.

Memory can of course be assisted by external aids ( like notes) but that doesn’t control for the emotional factors and lack of experience in observation which professionals provide. Because anti-vax – both leaders and followers- relies upon emotion we shouldn’t expect anyone in that camp pointing this out – parents’ witness always trumps data. andis great ad copy.

Another anecdotal story…about my experiences with my son.

As most of you know, my son was born with many problems, including a huge ASD (Atrial Septal Defect). After 10 weeks in the NICU, he come home to die, because the defect was inoperable.

Well, he didn’t die. He beat the odds and the huge inoperable ASD closed spontaneously. As Orac has stated about seemingly “miraculous cures”, he was the exceedingly rare “outlier” for this particular cardiac condition.

At the time, I “reasoned” that if the specialists were wrong about the inoperable ASD, that did in fact close spontaneously, perhaps the other “specialists” were wrong in their predictions about his intellectual capacity and perhaps he would ambulate.

Was I in denial…yes, of course I was. But, it did help to have those hopes in the beginning and it did help that I was able to eventually deal with his profound and multiple disabilities.

Once I started dealing with the realities of his disabilities, my friends felt “free” to discuss how concerned they all were, that I would remain clueless in my protective denial state.

I only share this story of my own personal journey to compare it to those parents who miss very subtle deviations from the norm or deterioration of developmental milestones in their children, who are later diagnosed with autism.

I still am amazed that my son’s heart valves were found suitable for donation, after his death at age 28.

Hi Chemmomo –

pD, I’m still interested in how you think my son fits into your hypothesis. As a younger sibling, he was exposed to a lot more immune challenges as an infant than my older child. This includes, as we’ve discussed before, his first cold at only three weeks old (we jury rigged raising one end of the pack’n’play bassinet with phone book to elevate his head to help drain his runny nose). He had his first ear infection subsequent to a bad cold at five and a half months. There were numerous colds in between. And he also had the full immunization schedule in 2006-7.

I don’t remember this discussion. Can you find a link to it? If you asked this question and I failed to respond to it, I apologize, perhaps it got lost in the tide of posts, or I moved on. In any case, I’ll try to respond now. I would be interested in seeing the original post, to see if I responded previously, and how this response matches up with what I wrote in the past.

So, pD, now what? Is my child an outlier, a freak of nature, who by random chance escaped the neurological changes leading to autism in spite of repeated early immune system activation? Or will you consider that your hypothesis might not be as robust as you assume?

I cannot believe that I need to say this on this site, but a single annectode, while a form of data, is generally not considered to be strong data. There is a limitation to what we can understand from single data points. For example, if we consider valporic acid as a potential prenatal cause of autism, there is not a one hundred percent concordance between exposure to VPA and an eventual autism diagnosis, not even close. This is why even though specific children may be exposed to VPA or similar agents in utero and do not receive a diagnosis we do not find that the underlying theory is invalid. Do you think that every child exposed to VPA prenatally who does not have an autism to be a ‘freak of nature’?

But you raise a more important point, namely, a misunderstanding of my thoughts, something that it would appear is widespread. I am a bit despondent on this, considering the care I’ve tried to take on that kind of thing.

I am not advocating that vaccines do cause, or even contribute towards, autism based on the findings in papers like the three that I referenced above, only that such a pathway is possible, and the immunological findings within the autism cohort are in alignment with the possibility of a susceptible subgroup. I am not advocating that there is an autism epidemic driven by vaccination and vaccination alone. I do not claim to be able to answer the very problematic questions of the degree of a true rise in autism diagnosis. I believe that genetics play a big part in autism, in some cases, the entire part.

The fact that your son, and many others, got infections early in their life, and went on not to receive an autism diagnosis does as little towards the robustness of my hypothesis than the fact that another persons child may have been exposed to valporic acid prenatally, and went on to become outgoing. Should the fact that a great many children who have mothers and fathers over forty do not receive a diagnosis of autism affect the robustness of what our studies on older parents have shown, a consistent, but moderate increase in risk? Are all of these children ‘freaks of nature’?

My worldview is one wherein there ins’t a single ’cause’ of autism, even within a single individual, but lots of little differences. Furthermore, while the prenatal experience is clearly paramount, there is nothing sacred about postnatal life, especially early in the perinatal period, that protects infants from long term effects of envirornmental exposures.

Here’s the bigger thing, Chemmomo, the findings of developmental programming of the immune system are robust, and they don’t change one iota based on your experience. For example, check out one of the papers that I referenced above:

Microglia and Memory: Modulation by Early-Life Infection (The Journal of Neuroscience, 26 October 2011, 31(43): 15511-15521; doi: 10.1523/?JNEUROSCI.3688-11.2011). Here is the abstract:

The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß) is critical for normal hippocampus (HP)-dependent cognition, whereas high levels can disrupt memory and are implicated in neurodegeneration. However, the cellular source of IL-1ß during learning has not been shown, and little is known about the risk factors leading to cytokine dysregulation within the HP. We have reported that neonatal bacterial infection in rats leads to marked HP-dependent memory deficits in adulthood. However, deficits are only observed if unmasked by a subsequent immune challenge [lipopolysaccharide (LPS)] around the time of learning. These data implicate a long-term change within the immune system that, upon activation with the ‘second hit,’ LPS, acutely impacts the neural processes underlying memory. Indeed, inhibiting brain IL-1ß before the LPS challenge prevents memory impairment in neonatally infected (NI) rats. We aimed to determine the cellular source of IL-1ß during normal learning and thereby lend insight into the mechanism by which this cytokine is enduringly altered by early-life infection. We show for the first time that CD11b+ enriched cells are the source of IL-1ß during normal HP-dependent learning. CD11b+ cells from NI rats are functionally sensitized within the adult HP and produce exaggerated IL-1ß ex vivo compared with controls. However, an exaggerated IL-1ß response in vivo requires LPS before learning. Moreover, preventing microglial activation during learning prevents memory impairment in NI rats, even following an LPS challenge. Thus, early-life events can significantly modulate normal learning-dependent cytokine activity within the HP, via a specific, enduring impact on brain microglial function.

The journal that published this paper, The Journal of Neuroscience, has an impact factor of 8.2, which is quite high. It is but one of dozens of papers that tell us that the immune system is maleable during critical developmental timeframes, and this maleability can manifest behaviorally due to the interconnected nature of the immune system and the brain.

The quote from Mrs. Herbert earlier in this thread hit the nail on the head; our existing vaccine studies are not approriately designed to detect if we are changing our infants in ways other than protection from disease with vaccination. Unfortunately, research undertaken long after the development of the vaccine schedule indicates that the immune system is playing a much more active part in learning, memory, and behavior than we even thought possible. We are very much in the beginnings of understanding of how the immune system interacts with the formation and function of the brain. That’s OK, it is the reality, but we shouln’t pretend that we understand our actions just because it is comforting and the alternatives are frightening.

Does that help answer your question?

– pD

Hi Dangerous Bacon –

This is standard conspiratorial fare from our antivax contingent.

Yawn.

I have seen a number of my own posts go to moderation when there is but a single included link, or even sometimes when there is no link at all. pD needs to recognize that there is no plot to silence him or the vociferously loony antivax commenters.

Double yawn. [So far, four for four of my comments have gone to the moderation queue, but all have been published.]

As for accessibility of the JAMA article under discussion, there are plenty of us who have not had immediate access to it (or other newly published fare), but who’d prefer to make the effort to search it out rather than gripe about how the authors were keeping if from us deliberately, while speculating groundlessly about a physical characteristic of the subjects potentially invalidating the study (congratulations for finally acknowledging that there’s no evidence of this).

As I stated, most times authors will graciously give copies of their papers. I made a single mention of the fact that I was frustruated by my inability thus far to get a copy of the paper, which you proceeded to classify as conspiritorial ranting; it was more like frustruation because it was a paper I really wanted to read.

Seeing as how your specialty on RI has been a Gish-Galloping citation-fest of minimally relevant articles, I’d been under the impression that you had multiple journal subscriptions and a “world-class” article-review service (like the Geier’s “world-class” lab in their basement), but maybe not.

Your impressions were, again, incorrect. There is something to be said for consistency.

I asked:
“Citation required regarding ‘lower neuron counts’. Do your citations include findings from the prefrontal cortex?”

To which you responded:

See, this is an example why it is often fruitless to try to debate with you. You make an assertion, it is contradicted, then you try to weasel around it by creating new conditions.

If you think that being asked to back up an assertion with proof constitutes a ‘fruitless’ debate, I think the problem list squarely in your understanding of the rules of debate. Imagine if I were to say something like “Chelation cures autism!”, but then refused to submit any proof for this assertion, insisting it was fruitless to do so.

Pretending that asking if there are spatial differences in neuron numbers is “changing conditions” is pretty rich. Courchesne was looking for alterations in a very specific part of the brain, one involved with a lot of areas known to be functionally impacted by autism, he did not report a general reduction in neuron numbers from any old place. Lets be clear here, you are in a Catch-22 regarding you claim of reduced neuron numbers resulting from VPA exposure. If you were to provide a citation for this, it is nothing less than a complete exhoneration of the fact that at a phenotype level we need to be cautious about extrapolating Courchesne’s results. If you were to provide a link regarding VPA and reduced neuron counts, but from another part of the brain, we are left to conclude that either:

a) You knew the studies were from different areas, but figured you could slide in another explanation to score an imaginary point on the assumption that you wouldn’t be asked to back up your claim.

b) You didn’t know the studies were from different areas, but either figured all neurons were neurons, or that such nuances weren’t salient to the discussion.

The riddle we are attempting to detangle is very complicated, and if we are doomed to fail if we allow ourselves to fall prey to gross oversimplifications such as all locations in the brain are equivalent, or for that matter, that toxin means neurotoxin, Details matter at least they do if you want to understand a condition. I don’t think you do, to be honest.

This happened awhile back when you claimed that there was no research investigating inflammatory cytokine production in connection with vaccines. When I demonstrated to you that indeed there was, I got responses on the order of “well, they didn’t look at these cytokines”, didn’t delve as deeply as you thought they should, etc., never admitting that you got caught out in an inaccurate statement.

You are scoring points by bringing this up, but you are putting the ball in your own goal.

Again, I went to great pains in that discussion that there are very real and meaningful differences between an in vitro study of cytokine production in response to a particular agonist with blood taken months after vaccination, compared to the study of the immediate release of cytokines post vaccination in vivo. I honestly don’t know if you understand the difference, methodologically that I am describing, but trust me, there is one and those differences are relevant.

Let me ask you a genuine question:

Do you think there are meaningful methodological differences between an in vivo measurement taken hours or days after vaccination to determine immediate reaction to a vaccine, versus in vitro findings from blood taken a year after vaccination, and subsequently triggered with a specific agonist to determine immune response?

If the answer is “yes”, then the study you presented has nothing to do with the general innate immune response generated post vaccination. If you answer “no”, then I don’t think you can be helped. What’s your answer?

What we do agree on currently is that the JAMA study under discussion offers some interesting if limited evidence deserving of further study, and that parents of autistic children shouldn’t condemn and withhold their support of research if it produces findings contrary to their beliefs.

We are in complete agreement!

– pD

Parental observation of their children can be problematic at times and some of the anecdotes shared here may show some minor matters, but on the whole parental observations drive medical intervention not the other way round.

Apparently “eyewitness testimony” usually a single moment in time, quite distinct from parental observations over long periods of time, has been confused in this issue as well.

Each and every days millions of observations are made by parents that lead to direct medical intervention on the behalf of their children.

So what are we to then make of the facts surrounding the following –

1. Parents reporting high levels of regression in their children.Lancet 12 for instance.

2. Medical authorities report low levels of regression around 20% (Smeeth 2004)

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2804%2917020-7/fulltext

3. Then when a focused study by Hornig … 88%

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140#pone.0003140-Luyster1

That 88% still not elucidated fully …I would have thought the medical and ethical imperative would have been to investigate further.

Would it be a food allergy for instance ?

Perhaps but …unlikely unless 88% of the parents were introducing eggs , peanuts or lobster bisque a child’s diet rarely changes that significantly.

hmm … perhaps some mechanism that has had an immunostimulatory response on the child’s immune system. In the present or the past. Something that led to a change in gene expression perhaps… virus , bacteria …

What isn’t a surprise is the amount of literature being developed that indicates a clear immune system dysfunction in autism.

The one disappointing thing is we’ll probably never know because the opportunity was lost …

Thus ends the cautionary tale of the skeptik.

Take The AQ Test – Introvertion, Asperger’s or Autism? Are you on the scale?

“Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger’s report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.”

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

@ Rachael:

I’d really like to get through to you – I truly believe that looking at introversion is a roundabout way to invoke the spurious vaccine-autism link- which is not supported by data. The anti-vaccine movement has already tried the ideas of contamination and auto-immunity. I firmly believe that the “information” they provide is a dis-service to the public.

When you focus on complicated *speculative* avenues of physiological interference with development ( courtesy of AoA and others), you are distracted from the existing data that show no link between autism and vaccines.

I have absolutely no stake in the debate other than the fact I despise pseudo-scientists mis-leading people for their own gain, either monetary or ego-enhancing.

Many of the people who comment here are well-educated in science: listen to them. We’re not being paid to write here, we neither sell nor profit from vaccines- we feel it’s the right thing to do.

Please consider my words: I have to get ready to leave for my excursion. Have a nice day.

pD: “I am not advocating that vaccines do cause, or even contribute towards, autism based on the findings in papers like the three that I referenced above, only that such a pathway is possible”

Virtually all of your myriad posts on RI have been dedicated to the proposition that vaccines must be suspected of causing autism. You’ve promised before to get off that kick and delve into other etiologies, but it always seems to get back to the vaccines. This doesn’t do much for your claims of “objectivity”.

” I went to great pains in that discussion that there are very real and meaningful differences between an in vitro study of cytokine production in response to a particular agonist with blood taken months after vaccination, compared to the study of the immediate release of cytokines post vaccination in vivo.”

Uh-huh. After claiming that cytokines had not been studied in connection with vaccines at all (and having it pointed out to you that you were wrong with appropriate literature citation) you raised objections including the in vitro/in vivo business. You also dismissed existing studies because they didn’t cover the cytokines you felt important. This is known as “changing the goalposts”, and is a common dodge among antivaxers. No matter the large body of research performed on vaccine efficacy and safety and the abundant safety record accumulated in clinical practice, it is never enough and the focus must be on endless additional studies which the antivaxers hope will somehow give them ammunition. Meanwhile promising avenues of research into the etiology and treatment of autism go unsupported and unfunded by those who can’t see past blaming vaccines.

It’s nice that you’re relatively civil in comparison to most of the antivaxers who post here, pD and can string together coherent sentences. Apart from that, your focus and tactics bear a strong resemblance to those of committed antivaxers in general.

Now let’s go back to science Treg,

Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it – why don’t you implicate them?

Like what foreign antigens other than vaccine antigens?

Considering that the vaccines contain the same antigens as (in most cases, lesser antigens than) the pathogen against which it provides immunity, how is it any different from being exposed to the pathogenic strains of the organism?

So you’re saying that after delivery, newborns are normally being exposed to HbsAg? Where in Gangta’s paradise do you live?

Without MMR vaccination, the child will get measles, mumps and rubella (especially when the herd immunity goes down) and will still be exposed to the same antigens as those in the vaccine.

MMR vaccination is the fulfillment of primary infection and that is precisely your job as an infection promoter.

Rachel-
Thanks for posting the video of Madison. Parents do know!
Many posters on this blog will absolutely deny any vaccine adverse events
even when it is staring them in the face. They really cannot see it because
they are in complete denial.
It would be traumatic for them to even admit the possibility of vaccine damage;
part of their identity is the belief in the sanctity of authority, their own authority
and ego attachments to their own ideas.
How awful it would be for them to admit they were wrong.
At least I can say I hope I am wrong as to the extent of vaccine damage. It does
exist.

@ Rachael: Why do you continually post here about anti-vax topics you have just read at the AoA website? Your theory about personality traits and autism have been thoroughly debunked by the “regulars” here…yet you still persist in reworking other “theories” that you have just read about, on AoA.

Please don’t feed the delusional, uneducated, health-care-professional wannabe Thingy troll. It needs “terminal disinfection”.

anon:

“It would be traumatic for them to even admit the possibility of vaccine damage;
part of their identity is the belief in the sanctity of authority, their own authority
and ego attachments to their own ideas.
How awful it would be for them to admit they were wrong.”

Anon – why is it that this blog allows antivaccine posts, and that antivaccine blogs boast that they ban any pro-vaccine posts? Does this fit your hypothesis that it is the pro-vaccine bloggers that are afraid of the facts, or does it fit the hypothesis that antivax posters are terrified of being wrong?

MMR vaccination is the fulfillment of primary infection and that is precisely your job as an infection promoter.

Citation needed, and that records of goalpost? Crap, but it. So-called herd immunity secondary spread of Modern Medicine because there were two weeks after giving me this kid? I don’t expect diagnose yourself a cesspool or sewage. For what? You’re only come again.

@Th1Th2bot: Thank you once again, for your excellent translation of Thingy’s inane (and insane) posts.

I’m working on a business plan to develop and market cheap and effective devices to “terminally disinfect” computer screens…whenever the Thing posts.

Two things, Rachael:

1) If we went back to colonial Salem we could without a doubt collect multiple “eyewitness accounts” of people being afflicted by a witch giving them the evil eye. Just like the parents you cite can talk about how their child got a vaccination and shortly thereafter started showing signs of autism, so could the parents of Salem can tell how old Goody Harkness gave their child a glare and shortly thereafter the child became sickly. Do you believe that witches curse people with evil eyes and hexes, or do you believe that eyewitness accounts are not always the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

2) If someone says “I’ve lost so much weight on this diet! I used to be 180 pounds; now I’m down to 180 pounds!” you wouldn’t need to hear their speculations on the mechanism by which the diet helps them lose weight in order to decide that the diet isn’t helping them lose weight. You would conclude that the diet is not having an effect on them just from the fact that there is a difference of zero between the weight they started at and the weight they reached.

You have voiced your speculations on a mechanism by which some children who might be introverted but who would not otherwise become autistic, who get vaccinated, become autistic after all. If such a mechanism existed, then the population of unvaccinated children would have a certain percentage of children who became autistic obviously because of non-vaccine factors; the population of vaccinated children would have the same percentage of autistic children, plus an additional percentage who became autistic through your suggested mechanism.

The best scientific evidence, using techniques that have been previously used to find effects happening at rates as rare as 1 in 100,000, fails to show any difference in autism rates between the two populations. If you wouldn’t take seriously a diet plan that results in weight loss of zero, why do you expect us to take seriously a mechanism for causing autism that makes zero difference in autism rates?

Mary Wright and lilady, as someone who was injured by a vaccine and as a gifted, very sensitive (including my immune system), highly intuitive person … you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone. We are not all immune-compromised carbon copies of one another, as you would like to have us all believe.

And yes indeed, smart people (those with scientific minds) do have the ability to absorb a great deal of information on a (single/few) subject(s) and are very well versed (knowledgeable) on a few topics. But take that person away from his/her “area of expertise” and often what you find is a fool; incapable of seeing what is staring him/her right in the face.

, as someone who was injured by a vaccine and as a gifted, very sensitive (including my immune system), highly intuitive person ..

[citation needed]

Especially the bit about being gifted and intuitive. That implies you have an open mind willing to listen to others, something I have not noticed.

Oh, one reason why my hearing loss was missed for six months, they thought I was being introspective during all the moves.

Hi Dangerous Bacon –

Virtually all of your myriad posts on RI have been dedicated to the proposition that vaccines must be suspected of causing autism. You’ve promised before to get off that kick and delve into other etiologies, but it always seems to get back to the vaccines.

The first post I had in this thread, didn’t have anything to do with vaccines. Primarily I wanted to highlight the time sensitive nature of donating tissue, especially brain tissue, in the event of a tragedy. I happen to think that is important.

Secondly, I asserted, incorrectly, that I thought there were physical characteristics of the children involved that might be meaningful in terms of phenotypes.

Lastly, I noted that there was research indicating not all neurons in the prefrontal cortex were created prenatally.

After that, I also discussed the potential for impairment in programmed cell death as a participatory player in the increased neuron numbers observed. You are the one who jumped up and down about my posting history, assignment of conspiratorial motives based on punctuation, and vaccination.

You are confusing joining a discussion about vaccines (or having one forced upon you!), with the inability to have a discussion about anything else.

The unfortunate reality is that nearly all discussions about autism on this site, and many others, involve vaccination. Try out my post on MET at my blog, here, for an example of me ‘delving into other etiologies’.

http://passionlessdrone.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/autism-alphabet-soup-met-hgf-plaur-serpine/

You also dismissed existing studies because they didn’t cover the cytokines you felt important. This is known as “changing the goalposts”, and is a common dodge among antivaxers

I dismissed the existing study because there are meaningful differences between measuring the in vivo response to vaccination in terms of innate immune response and in vitro response to a particular agent, months after the vaccination. You understand this, but can’t get yourself to admit it in public.

It isn’t changing the goalposts, it is recognizing that because a study has the words ‘vaccination’ and ‘cytokine’ in it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it provides relevant information towards whether or not we understand the quality and quantity of the innate immune response generated by vaccination. That is something we still do not have observations for.

My ideas on the possibility of vaccination to affect our infants in ways other than we understand hinges on the creation of an innate immune response at developmentally critical timeframes. Within this context, I think it is important to note that we just don’t have any information on the quality and quantity of the immune response generated from the pediatric vaccine schedule.

A study wherein children are vaccinated with one vaccine, blood is taken fifteen months afterwards, put in a test tube, and exposed to measles antigen and the resultant immune response is measured doesn’t give us any idea of what happened in the child after vaccination, just what happens in a petri dish when blood from that child is exposed to measles virus fifteen months afterwards.

Lets admit that you were technically correct; there was a study that measured a cytokine and a vaccination. I was wrong. I am curious, however, if you could help me understand something. Within the context of the animal studies I have been providing as a reference point on varied effects of early life immune activation how much can we understand about the resultant release of inflammatory cytokines in infants following administration of the pediatric vaccine schedule from an in vitro study from blood taken fifteen months previous?

Perhaps the problem is that I am just too dim to see how we can learn about the immediate, in vivo effects of vaccination from the study you provided. Like many humans, I’ve been wrong about lots of stuff. With that in mind, and considering how much effort you’ve put into insisting that you ‘proved’ something with that study, maybe you could explain to me, here, how we can use your study to understand the innate immune response in an infant following a two month well visit? I’m honestly asking for your thoughts on this. With a little luck, I’ll be capable of following your explanation.

It’s nice that you’re relatively civil in comparison to most of the antivaxers who post here, pD and can string together coherent sentences.

Well, that’s something!

– pD

And yes indeed, smart people (those with scientific minds) do have the ability to absorb a great deal of information on a (single/few) subject(s) and are very well versed (knowledgeable) on a few topics. But take that person away from his/her “area of expertise” and often what you find is a fool; incapable of seeing what is staring him/her right in the face.

Did anyone else’s Irony Meter just explode?

Rachael at 224:
you are never going to convince me
OK, that saves a lot of time.

. you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone.

The very definition of a closed mind. Now one that is intuitive and gifted.

Here is a posting from AoA by “Rachael” when she commented on Kent Heckenlively’s article “XMRV (HGRV) is Not Dead-The Rituximab Story”:

“David: I actually became sick during strenuous exercise and the consumption on one too many aspartame containing “diet sodas” (a chemical poisoning of sorts). It was the height of the fitness craze and even though I was always was more of a sprinter than a long distance runner, I pushed myself to do aerobic classes. Drinks with “zero calories”, that contained aspartame, had just come on the market and I began drinking way too many of these beverages. I was exercising and downing yet another diet cola, when I suddenly developed severe flu-like symptoms. Those flu-like symptoms have remained with me since that day over twenty-five years ago, although, like I said in my previous post, I have found things that help ease my symptoms, somewhat.

However, I do believe, like you, that vaccinations are responsible for the development of CFS in many individuals. A series of adult vaccinations about ten years ago made me tremendously ill and it took years to regain what I lost by subjecting myself to those shots. I personally have always been more sensitive that the average person to the effects of prescription medications and I have always had chemical sensitivities; a part of my genetic make-up I guess (sensitivity) being that I am a artist. I believe that just like in autism, the genes load the gun and the environment pulls the trigger.

Posted by: Rachael | October 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM”

Rachael also posted in an earlier comment that her “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” was directly caused by ingestion of Aspartame contained in diet soda…not vaccines.

Yes Rachael, you are bullsh** artist.

Rachel

“you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone.”

Perfectly fine and sensible reasoning. Which is clearly evidenced in the medical literature.

Each of our bodies respond in differing ways to differing medications including vaccines.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/should-not-vacc.htm

Developmen­­­­t of Newborn and Infant Vaccines

Guzman Sanchez-Sc­­­­hmitz Children’s Hospital Boston and Ofer Levy Harvard Medical School recently commentate­d

“Vaccines …their developmen­­­­tal path has been largely ad hoc, empiric, and inconsiste­­­­nt.

Immune responses of human newborns and infants are distinct and cannot be predicted from those of human adults or animal models.

Therefore, understand­­­­ing and modeling age-specif­­­­ic human immune responses will be vital to the rational design and developmen­­­­t of safe and effective vaccines for newborns and infants.”

http://www­.scienceme­dicine.org­/content/3­/90/90ps27­.short

Paediatricians around the world are concerned with how our food is manufactured and what substances are placed within it.

Nature magazine is running a special edition on allergies and their impact on health.

http://www.nature.com/nature/outlook/allergies/index.html

Once again it seems you have some valuable information to relay in your own personal circumstances that I think some researchers would indeed find interesting.

That you are able to articulate that gene expression may play a pivotal role in this discussion is an important indicator that you have given this issue some very thoughtful time.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v474/n7351/full/474294a.html

There is an emerging body of evidence that clearly implicates the immune system in autism and is probably a major ‘group’

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/us-researchers-discovery-promises-answers-on-autism/story-e6frg8y6-1226131763200

So does your type of personal story make sense to some medical professionals certainly …

http://napervillesun.suntimes.com/lifestyles/8393890-423/fillers-used-in-medication-can-cause-adverse-reactions.html

Apologies to you from those of us who like open science discussion

lilady: My previous post #224 – I said:

“as someone who was injured by a vaccine”

Where’s the lie? I didn’t say vaccination caused by CFS.

but I did say, A series of adult vaccinations about ten years ago made me tremendously ill and it took years to regain what I lost by subjecting myself to those shots.

So, don’t call me a liar! You ignorant fool!

@ Chris: Apparently, I used to be a “gifted, very sensitive (including my immune system), highly intuitive person …”, but then I was immunized against polio during my adolescent years. I had to give up a promising career as “an artist” and go for the fall-back career in public health nursing.

“So, don’t call me a liar! You ignorant fool!”

I didn’t call you a liar…I said you are a bullsh** artist.

Still waiting for your “self-diagnosed” vaccine injury…along with citations.

I threw my back out really badly for the first time a mere three days after I first “specified” sea cucumber in my Happy Family. This cannot be a coincidence!

Refuse all Happy Family with a “Sea cucumber optional, please specify” label! Buy my book!

Your set of symptoms sound pretty fishy – have you ever been tested for Lyme? If untreated, it can progress over the years & may be mistaken for CFS.

I do feel a great deal of sympathy for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who’ve been told it’s “all in their head”. I had asthma really bad as a kid (say 1959-1968, more or less). That was the era when asthma was all in your head, too.

That doesn’t mean I accept as a given that CFS is all one thing.

@ Lawrence: Please don’t go “there” with Rachael. All the LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctors), now that their “theories” of chronic Lyme Diseases have been thoroughly debunked…have “expanded” their practice to include treatment of autism.

Rachael has made statements about her vaccine injury, “someone who was injured by a vaccine and as a gifted, very sensitive (including my immune system), highly intuitive person … you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone. We are not all immune-compromised carbon copies of one another, as you would like to have us all believe.”

I’m still waiting for citations for all her theories about personality traits linking autism and citations about her “vaccine injury”.

@anon – and a high fever resulting from any typical infection would have caused here encephalopathy as well….

I believe, if untreated, Lyme does progress over time – from simple flu-like symptoms, to joint issues, to finally attacking the organs themselves.

If I am incorrect in that (again, completely untreated Lyme), let me know.

@ anon: Why haven’t you posted again at Orac’s article on the Burzynski Clinic? Some of the “regulars” there have posted in reply to your “testimonial evidence” about the Burzynski treatment protocol. I asked you for citations from peer reviewed journals regarding the treatment of Stage IV adenocarcinoma lung cancer with Herceptin and Tarceva and you simply “disappeared”…like the troll that you are.

Rachael:

… you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone.

That’s fine, since no one here thinks that people with contraindications should still be required to follow the vaccine schedule. It is, however, safe for anyone who doesn’t have any contraindications. Protestations to the contrary are strictly [citation needed].

Now, see, among adults, an ability to change your mind when you encounter new evidence is considered to be a good thing, a mark of intellectual honesty and emotional maturity. It just boggles me that anyone would come out and say “You’re never going to convince me!” without realizing that they are admitting to a failing.

I would certainly change my mind about vaccinations being the smart way to go if those who oppose them were able to produce actual evidence for the dire claims they make; do people like Rachael who boast of their inadequacy in that respect think I’m somehow confessing to a failing by saying I could be convinced? Sorry, but clinging on to a belief no matter what and refusing to consider questions because you don’t like the answers they give you – that’s not being “gifted,” or “sensitive,” or “intuitive,” that’s being a fanatic.

@ Lawrence: You are correct about “undiagnosed and untreated” Lyme disease.

Undiagnosed and untreated Lyme disease can lead to arthritic joints–typically the knee, meningitis and 2nd and 3rd degree heart block…that may require a temporary cardiac pacemaker.

Diagnosis of Lyme disease in its early stages is through a two-step blood test (ELISA and Western Blot). LLMDs diagnose “chronic Lyme disease” that is “diagnosed” with a bogus Lyme Urine Antigen blood test and they “treat” “chronic Lyme disease” with intermittent “pulse” IV antibiotics and continual prolonged IV antibiotics, colloidal silver and hyperbaric oxygen therapies.

I’m still waiting for citations from “Rachael” about her self-diagnosed CFS and self-diagnosed vaccine injury.

@ Lawrence: I posted a comment about “chronic Lyme disease”…and it is stuck in moderation.

@Lawrence 243, Maybe someone can explain, but I’m a little confused about Hannah Poling because I thought she got more than the normal number of vaccines in one visit because she had missed some vaccines because she’d had a series of ear infections. Did she have a fever with any of the ear infections? If so, how is it that she didn’t develop encephalopathy with those fevers? What am I missing?

c j f:

Did she have a fever with any of the ear infections? If so, how is it that she didn’t develop encephalopathy with those fevers? What am I missing?

The medical records that the parents refuse to release. You can find more information here. In short, the award was not for autism, she had an uncommon pre-existing condition, and her parents have been less than open about the whole case (including the father not proclaiming a conflict of interest in a paper he published).

and a high fever resulting from any typical infection would have caused here encephalopathy as well….

So take the goddamn vaccine because like natural infection it causes encephalopathy. Now you’re talking.

“Polarization of immune responses by vaccination may influence the outcome of future infections.

Epidemiologic studies have shown that immunization with live attenuated vaccines that elicit predominantly type 1 immune responses , such as M. bovis BCG and measles vaccine had a non-specific beneficial effect on childhood survival.

In contrast, diphtheria-pertussis-toxoid (DPT) vaccine, which primarily elicits type 2 immune responses, had the opposite effect

(Kristensen et al., 2000; Garly et al., 2003; Shann, 2004; Roth et al., 2005).”

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1462-5822.2005.00653.x/full

Rachael:
you are never going to convince me that a “one size fits all vaccine schedule” is safe for everyone.

OK, let’s try another track. Do you have any ideas about how to distinguish special cases for whom the standard vaccination schedule is unsuitable, from children for whom it is OK?

“Parental intuitions” do not help here. Even a parent who observes his or her own infant particularly well does not have the same opportunity to observe other children, and so is not in a position to make a “special case” judgement.

Thank you blackheart! Thanks just for listening and thanks for your links. I’ve known for a very long time, that having someone listen to me is not usually the case, when it comes to CFS. The CFS/autism overlaps have intrigued me for a very long time.

A new study out of Norway adds much to the data that chronic fatigue is an autoimmune disease. If not entirely definitive, it points in the direction that many CFS sufferers and clinicians have argued for decades, that the illness is a disorder of the immune system and is preceded in most cases by some kind of infection, stimulation or change to the immune system.

passionlessDrone

2011 BCG Vaccination Induces Different Cytokine Profiles Following Infant BCG Vaccination in the UK and Malawi

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3164434/

“We found difference­s in median responses in 27 of the 42 cytokines: 7 higher in the UK and 20 higher in Malawi. The cytokines with higher responses in the UK were all T helper 1 related.

The cytokines with higher responses in Malawi included innate proinflamm­atory cytokines, regulatory cytokines, interleuki­n 17, T helper 2 cytokines, chemokines­, and growth factors.”

Population difference­s in immune responses to Bacille Calmette-G­uérin vaccinatio­n in infancy. 2009

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19434928

We hypothesiz­ed that Mtb PPD-induce­d IFN-gamma after BCG vaccinatio­n would be similar in infants from these 2 countries. Infants were vaccinated with BCG during the first 3-13 weeks of life.

Three months after BCG vaccinatio­n, 51 (100%) of 51 UK infants had an IFN-gamma response to Mtb PPD, compared to 41 (53%) of 78 of Malawian infants, in whom responses varied according to their season of birth.

We conclude that population difference­s in immune responses after BCG vaccinatio­n are observed among infants, as well as among young adults.

Rachel

No worries. I must admit there bark is worse than their bite.

Have a look here … 67 odd studies on immune system dysfunction and related research starting at Post #571

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/09/the_fixed_mindset_of_the_anti-vaccine_activist.php

————————-

Interestingly you mentioned before “introversion” …

Immune-to-brain signaling pathways, CNS cytokine production, and roles of immune signaling in the brain

http://intramural.nimh.nih.gov/lcmr/sfn/neuroimmun.html

In another set of projects, we seek to understand how immune-related molecules influence mood and anxiety behaviors in rodents. Our focus is on the role of the NF-kB transcription factor in emotional states such as fear and anxiety.

We are characterizing anxiety-like behaviors in NFkB1-/- (p50 knockout) mice that show altered emotional states. These mice are normal in most simple tests of appearance and sensorimotor function, but they show altered fear and anxiety-like behaviors.

Inhibition of NF-κB Signaling as a Strategy in Disease Therapy

http://www.springerlink.com/content/u01487xrj6034825/

As described extensively in this issue, NF-κB transcription factors regulate a number of important physiological processes, including inflammation and immune responses, cell growth and survival, and the expression of certain viral genes. Moreover, NF-κB activity is elevated in and contributes to the pathology of several human diseases, including many cancers and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Psychiatric disorders: The dark side of depression

http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v12/n8/full/nrn3072.html?WT.ec_id=NRN-201108

Leonie Welberg

Depression is associated with disruptions in circadian rhythms, including altered sleep–wake patterns, and with immune system activation, as indicated by increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Monje et al.

—————

GO enrichment analysis of the 11 genes shared by Autism, Schizophrenia, and Epilepsy.

GO: 0032103 Positive regulation of response to external stimulus – Anxiety
(Any process that activates, maintains or increases the rate of a response to an external stimulus).

GO: 0031622 Positive regulation of fever – (Any process that activates or increases the frequency, rate, or extent of fever generation.)

GO : 0031620 Regulation of fever generation

GO: 0031650 Regulation of heat generation

GO: 0031652 Positive Regulation of heat generation

———–

Evidence for activation of nuclear factor kappaB in obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a risk factor for atherosclerosis, and atherosclerosis evolves from activation of the inflammatory cascade. We propose that activation of the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), a key transcription factor in the inflammatory cascade, occurs in OSA.

NF-kappaB activation occurs with sleep-disordered breathing. Such activation of NF-kappaB may contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in OSA patients.

Herr Doktor

OK, let’s try another track. Do you have any ideas about how to distinguish special cases for whom the standard vaccination schedule is unsuitable, from children for whom it is OK?

We could use science.

“There is emerging evidence that some children are immunologically compromised and therefore may respond in an atypical way to vaccinations. We do not currently understand how atypical immune responses might influence the developing nervous system or how commonly such adverse effects occur. Further, we currently have no way to identify those children who might respond adversely to vaccines. Several research projects at the MIND Institute are attempting to find such diagnostic markers. Clearly more research needs to be carried out on the relationship between the immune system and autism. Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

University of California

I’ve known for a very long time, that having someone listen to me is not usually the case,

And since you plainly cover your ears and chant “LA LA LA” when you think you might hear something you don’t like, that seems entirely fair.

Or, we could look at the 2011 ACIP General Recommendations regarding administering vaccines to the “immune compromised”.

Altered immunocompetence, a term often used synonymously with immunosuppression and immunocompromise, can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary immunodeficiencies generally are inherited and include conditions defined by an absence or quantitative deficiency of cellular or humoral components or both that provide immunity. Examples include congenital immunodeficiency diseases such as X-linked agammaglobulinemia, severe combined immunodeficiency disease, and chronic granulomatous disease. Secondary immunodeficiency generally is acquired and is defined by loss or qualitative deficiency in cellular or humoral immune components that occurs as a result of a disease process or its therapy. Examples of secondary immunodeficiency include HIV infection, hematopoietic malignancies, treatment with radiation, and treatment with immunosuppressive drugs including alkylating agents and antimetabolites. The degree to which immunosuppressive drugs cause clinically significant immunodeficiency generally is dose related and varies by drug. Primary and secondary immunodeficiencies might include a combination of deficits in both cellular and humoral immunity. In this report, the general term altered immunocompetence also is used to include conditions such as asplenia and chronic renal disease, and treatments with therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (specifically, the tumor necrosis factor inhibitors) (127–132) and prolonged administration of high-dose corticosteroids.

Determination of altered immunocompetence is important to the vaccine provider because incidence or severity of some vaccine-preventable diseases is higher in persons with altered immunocompetence; therefore, certain vaccines (e.g., inactivated influenza vaccine and pneumococcal vaccines) are recommended specifically for persons with these diseases (28,68). Vaccines might be less effective during the period of altered immunocompetence. Live vaccines might need to be deferred until immune function has improved. Inactivated vaccines administered during the period of altered immunocompetence might need to be repeated after immune function has improved. In addition, persons with altered immunocompetence might be at increased risk for an adverse reaction after administration of live, attenuated vaccines because of uninhibited replication.

The degree of altered immunocompetence in a patient should be determined by a physician. The challenge for clinicians and other health-care providers is assessing the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for conditions associated with primary or secondary immunodeficiency, especially when new therapeutic modalities are being used and information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines has not been characterized fully in persons receiving these drugs (Table 13). Laboratory studies can be useful for assessing the effects of a disease or drug on the immune system. Tests useful to assess humoral immunity include immunoglobulin (and immunoglobulin subset) levels and specific antibody levels (e.g., tetanus and diphtheria). Tests that demonstrate the status of cellular immunity include lymphocyte numbers (i.e., a complete blood count with differential), a test that delineates concentrations and proportions of lymphocyte subsets (i.e., B and T lymphocytes, CD4+ T versus CD8+ T lymphocytes), and tests that measure T-cell proliferation in response to specific or nonspecific stimuli (e.g., lymphocyte proliferation assays) (133,134). The ability to characterize a drug or disease condition as affecting cellular or humoral immunity is only the first step; using this information to draw inferences about whether particular vaccines are indicated or whether caution is advised with use of live or inactivated vaccines is more complicated and might require consultation with an infectious disease or immunology specialist.

pD: “You are the one who jumped up and down about my posting history, assignment of conspiratorial motives based on punctuation, and vaccination.”

Your posting history (including “just asking questions” about vaccines in this thread) is relevant to understanding where you’re coming from, protestations of “objectivity” not withstanding.
I have not assigned conspiratorial thinking to you. You’re the one who sees nefarious activity behind your inability to immediately get a full-length copy of a newly published journal article, and having comments placed briefly in moderation on RI like lots of other posters. Most of us can handle this sort of thing without going all !!?!?!?? about it.
If you want to be taken seriously it’d be a good idea to ditch the “they’re plotting against me” mindset, as it’s a typical component of the usual antivax herd from which you appear to want to distance yourself.

“The unfortunate reality is that nearly all discussions about autism on this site, and many others, involve vaccination.”

That’s because this site has a heavy focus on quackery and pseudoscience, including antivax activities. It is not primarily about autism, although evidence for its true etiology(ies) is touched on. Whatever you do on your own blog is nifty, but when you post here it is typically to try to implicate vaccines in causation of autism, directly or indirectly (by pooh-poohing any evidence that suggests an alternate mechanism, as was the case in this thread).

“It isn’t changing the goalposts, it is recognizing that because a study has the words ‘vaccination’ and ‘cytokine’ in it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it provides relevant information”

Uh, it isn’t “a study”, it’s numerous studies* that have examined cytokines and other molecular aspects of immune response following vaccination (which I alluded to in previous discussion). Apparently none of them satisfy your great concern about the unique threat of the immune response to vaccination (never mind the daily antigenic challenge we all face from myriad antigens from birth onwards, or the antigenic challenge of actual infectious disease which dwarfs that involved in vaccination – because, well, it’s gotta be the vaccines. That probably accounts for the latest pD goalpost shift, demanding comprehensive research into “the innate immune response in an infant following a two month well visit”, otherwise, well, we can’t possibly know enough to recommend vaccination of infants against dangerous infectious diseases.

*PubMed is your friend here. Beware however – it is possible that some of the articles may not be available to you in complete form for free, either because some journals like paying customers, or because They Don’t Want You To Know (!!?!??!??).

So take the goddamn vaccine because like natural infection it causes encephalopathy. Now you’re talking.

Then again, it’s Sunday and return come back to say no wonder if you are reversible, especially for his own question. Superstition, chronic delusion hallucination, yes, or sewage; conceal the operative words.

There be a disease? Yes: have missed that the whine. Tsk; so you try this is done.

@passionlessDrone #212
pD, thank you for your well thought out response. First, I’d like to say that I appreciate the fact that you do try to follow the science yourself, and your most recent comments here suggest that your position has evolved over time and new data (I haven’t had time to check your blog to see to find out if that is true). I don’t think I can find the other thread; it was probably at least a year ago, maybe two. You didn’t fail to respond – we had gone around and around the same problem I still have with your hypothesis. Clearly, I didn’t make that much of an impression on you.

So the short version of your hypothesis vs my anecdata (and sorry, since I don’t do medical research that’s all I’ve got) would be is my kid’s an outlier. Or, if you prefer, part of a non-susceptible subgroup.

I do agree we still have much to learn about how the immune system affects development. The abstract you posted is interesting, but it’s a rat study, and I don’t have access to the journal to read it for myself, so I can’t judge how it translates to research in humans.

Here’s where we disagree. You concluded:

Unfortunately, research undertaken long after the development of the vaccine schedule indicates that the immune system is playing a much more active part in learning, memory, and behavior than we even thought possible.

The vaccine schedule did not significantly increase the number nor the timing of immune challenges an infant faces. Sure, some challenges (i.e., the vaccines) have become regularly spaced, rather than random. But what my anecdote was intended to illustrate is that infants’ immune systems have always been challenged, even in very early life. The current vaccine schedule has not changed that fact. To me, that’s the elephant in the middle of your hypothesis.

@blackheart #261

We could use science.

Scientists use citations. Your quotation is attributed to

University of California

Huh?

OK, let’s try another track. Do you have any ideas about how to distinguish special cases for whom the standard vaccination schedule is unsuitable, from children for whom it is OK?

We could use science.
“Further, we currently have no way to identify those children who might respond adversely to vaccines.”

Evidently blackheart’s answer to the question is “no”. So we are left with the unpredictive post-facto paradigm of “Oh, this child is old enough to be diagnosed with condition X; this child was vaccinated in the last 6 months; therefore vaccination causes condition X.”

Apologies for the extra words in the first paragraph of #265. I still can’t proofread on screen.

herr Doktor

Obviously you missed … (Patient History)

“Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

But such things as biomarkers or perhaps partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy are being developed.

@ blackheart:

You know, you’re amongst friends here- whether you realise it or not- and I’ll bet you’d be lots of fun at a Starbucks or in a pub; much of what we regulars say is entirely tongue-in-cheek but we are serious about a few issues- which I’ll get to.

So why don’t you come clean: it’s the vaccines, isn’t it? There’s nothing about which to be ashamed: anti-vaccination has had a long history having been around since Jenner; I could show you material from the 1950s, courtesy of Prevention Magazine.

Objections that raise immunological issues, contamination, or suspicions of world-wide plots ( involving governments, professional groups, pharma,and the media all working in synch) are window dressing for the central issue, i.e. a belief that vaccines are dangerous and cause harm that includes autism. This belief has been around and does not stand up to research: I am not saying that no problems *ever* arose from vaccines *but* that injury from the relevant illness is orders of magnitude higher than the possibility of any vaccine injury. There is no research that shows an association of vaccines with autism.

People who have a strong vested interest in preserving this belief and proselytising about it may either be entrenched for psychological reasons ( despair about a child with autism, strong allegiance to the natural health movement or leader ) or financial ones ( marketting new “cures” or “safer” vaccines- *a la* AJW,or supplements, such as companies advertising at AoA or by general alt med merchants, or selling *themselves*).

In the long run, beliefs like this can lead to actions that are harmful- less children will be vaccinated and the formerly “covered” illness will spread as they did in the not-so-recent past. Beliefs about the “dangers”of SBM for cancer, HIV/AIDS, or SMI, fall into this same category. There are deeply emotional reasons- as old as our species- that concern the fear of injection/ ingestion of foreign materials- the anti-vax movement utilises that fear as its foundation rather than speaking rationally to it. This manipulation has made quite a few people wealthy.

Well, Blackie, I hope you will start considering why we feel so strongly about this: we don’t want to see anyone suffer needlessly if there is easily acquired *help*.

Mu @270

Colour me unsurprised. Racheal, why are you praising someone (blacheart) who continually demonstrates such dishonesty? This does explain why blackheart admires Wakefield – they are both champions of mendacity.

@ minions: my epistle to Blackie – currently in moderation- addresses several of these issues.

-btw- Th1Th2bot: Do you currently have an agent? Please consider me.

I have a comment stuck in moderation. You could also look up the entire ACIP 2011 General Recommendations, “immunization of immune compromised individuals”, instead of the cherry-picked UC-Davis citation provided by blackheart.

Look especially for the definitions of immune-compromised states (genetic versus treatment related). If it is all too complicated you can check the VIS (Vaccine Information Sheets) to locate instances when a particular vaccine may be contraindicated or delayed.

Most vaccines are especially recommended for immune-compromised individuals because of the risks of the actual diseases to such people.

The entire article supplied by Mu makes mention of some instances where a physician may delay or defer a vaccine for a particular individual.

Rachael should try and read these recommendations and not rely on the crap she reads at AoA or the advice from her new internet BFF blackheart.

Chemmomo: “The vaccine schedule did not significantly increase the number nor the timing of immune challenges an infant faces. Sure, some challenges (i.e., the vaccines) have become regularly spaced, rather than random. But what my anecdote was intended to illustrate is that infants’ immune systems have always been challenged, even in very early life. The current vaccine schedule has not changed that fact. To me, that’s the elephant in the middle of your hypothesis.”

I pointed this out to pD a long time ago with a link to an article about inflammatory cytokine generation resulting from constant, ongoing immune challenge in our bodies (i.e. from antigens traversing our gastrointestinal tracts). I never got a coherent explanation as to why that constant challenge is insignificant in comparison to vaccine antigens, or why vaccines must be focused on in this regard while full-blown disease gets a pass. The pD refrain has always been to lament the absence of hyperspecific studies addressing the particular parameters pD argues are important, now required to be in vivo studies on two-month-olds after well-child visits. It’s gotta be the vaccines, you know.

How this represents an evolved viewpoint remains to be seen.

(never mind the daily antigenic challenge we all face from myriad antigens from birth onwards, or the antigenic challenge of actual infectious disease which dwarfs that involved in vaccination – because, well, it’s gotta be the vaccines.

So Dangerous Bacon has implied that “daily antigenic challenge” is also “daily pathogenic challenge” like what he described as “antigenic challenge of actual infectious disease”. Now who in their right mind would do something abnormal like going to India just to get a daily challenge with WT poliovirus? Seriously provax have lost the debate every time they use the “antigen gambit”. Ass always they are barking up the wrong tree.

@TrlTrll:

Like what foreign antigens other than vaccine antigens?

I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that on Htrae only antigens present in vaccines were foreign to the human body while antigens on pathogens were actually native to the human body. My bad – I’m not traines in Htrae biology.
Here on earth, we have this funny situation that even the antigens on a pathogen are foreign to the human body and that there are far more of them that the human body is exposed to since birth than the amount contained in all the vaccines put together. Your bad – you are not trained in human biology/medicine/health sciences.

Militant Agnostic:

This does explain why blackheart admires Wakefield – they are both champions of mendacity.

There is really no point in engaging blackheart. He is just a more verbose version of Thingy. How can you tell blackheart and Thingy are lying: they typed a comment on a blog.

Here on earth, we have this funny situation that even the antigens on a pathogen are foreign to the human body and that there are far more of them that the human body is exposed to since birth than the amount contained in all the vaccines put together.

And that exposure is restricted on the skin and mucosal surface by the physical barriers of the innate immune system. Which goes to show that you have no idea of how many infections are being prevented by the non-adaptive mechanism of the innate immune system alone. Contrast that to vaccination, you knew very well that these are pathogenic yet you insouciantly breach the protective barrier in order to promote an infection. Yes you’re bad infection promoter.

Hmmm… Let’s see…
Measles virus comes in contact with the mucosa from where it eventually gains entry into the blood and disseminates.
Ditto polio…
Oh wait! the mumps and rubella viruses also gain entry into the human host by the same route…
Diptheria and pertussis toxins also get absorbed from the mucosa…
MALT (mucosa associated lymphoid tissue) is constantly coming in contact with antigens in the food that we ingest… Infact that is where the body comes in contact with gliadin and reacts to it…
The oral and respiratory mucosa are colonized by several bacteria including Staphylococci, Streptococci and Haemophilus… Their antigens are continuously in contact with the MALT…
The Gut is colonized by various species of bacteria including E.coli…
Yes, our skin and mucosa protect us from several INFECTIONS but they are also continuously acquainting our immune system with the myriads of antigens which we come in contact with in our environment….

Nope… We don’t get exposed to any antigens because our skin and mucosa protect us…

And that exposure is restricted on the skin and mucosal surface by the physical barriers of the innate immune system.

See, beings of Thingy’s species never breathe or eat or drink, and never have breaks in their skin. Presumably all of their oxygen (?), (distilled) water, and food are shipped in from their home planet, and they were some protective rubbery garment to prevent exposure to Earthly pathogens. That’s how they can simultaneously be germophobes and germ theory denialists.

And of course, they believe that only actual disease pathogens cause an immune response and not the millions of other antigens we’re exposed to in our lifetime, most of which we would never know were there if it weren’t for the ham-handed response of the Rube Goldberg contraption we call our immune system. But try to get it to respond appropriately to 10 or 12 that actually cause problems and it’s the crime of the century.

yet you insouciantly breach the protective barrier

Wow, we’ve never heard the bot giggle during an update before.

@Mu- From your link….

“Does this mean that we can say without a doubt that vaccines do not cause autism in some children? The answer to this question is “no”. There is emerging evidence that some children are immunologically compromised and therefore may respond in an atypical way to vaccinations. We do not currently understand how atypical immune responses might influence the developing nervous system or how commonly such adverse effects occur. Further, we currently have no way to identify those children who might respond adversely to vaccines. Several research projects at the MIND Institute are attempting to find such diagnostic markers. Clearly more research needs to be carried out on the relationship between the immune system and autism. Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”
My question-
So the prudent thing to do is to continue shooting them up starting from birth with Hep B, refuse to produce a separate pertussis vaccine and give them Dtap then another live vaccine etc for 18 months not knowing whether they are “immunologically compromised.” ????

http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/newsroom/vaccineposition.html

@Mu-
From your link- quote
“Does this mean that we can say without a doubt that vaccines do not cause autism in some children? The answer to this question is “no”. There is emerging evidence that some children are immunologically compromised and therefore may respond in an atypical way to vaccinations. We do not currently understand how atypical immune responses might influence the developing nervous system or how commonly such adverse effects occur. Further, we currently have no way to identify those children who might respond adversely to vaccines. Several research projects at the MIND Institute are attempting to find such diagnostic markers. Clearly more research needs to be carried out on the relationship between the immune system and autism. Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

Questioner, who wrote that and why are all of the references more than five years old?

And, Mady Hornig’s autistic mice study came under severe criticism (the question was “how can you tell if a mouse is autistic?”). So really, why should we care about what was written in an undated anonymous press release?

Can’t keep up with all the comments, but thanks for this piece, and also for raising the idea of donating my autistic son’s brain if (we hope not, obviously) it ever became necessary. One of the terribly hard parts of being the parent of an autistic pre-teen who wanders, is physically able to get out of the house if he really wants to or over most barriers, is that you do have to deal with the painful reality you may not be able to keep your child safe, despite constant effort. This doesn’t make that any better, but it does require that I think a little bit about our possible response if the worst did happen.

Thank you,

Sharon

And, Mady Hornig’s autistic mice study came under severe criticism (the question was “how can you tell if a mouse is autistic?”)

From what I remember, the signs of autism presented were normal patterns of mouse behavior, such as territorial aggression. That’s just plan sad.

Hi Chemmomo –

So the short version of your hypothesis vs my anecdata (and sorry, since I don’t do medical research that’s all I’ve got) would be is my kid’s an outlier. Or, if you prefer, part of a non-susceptible subgroup.

I’d flip that statement on its head. I think that your experience is the norm, but the absolute number of outliers in a population is driven by the absolute number of participants. While some infants got sick very early in life in the past, I doubt very seriously you could point me towards documentation indicating 90+% of them did. With that in mind, we’ve gone from a random distribution to a straight line approaching 100%, and the number of outliers in a population that comprises nearly everyone is much larger than the number of outliers in a population that is only a segment of everyone.

I do agree we still have much to learn about how the immune system affects development. The abstract you posted is interesting, but it’s a rat study, and I don’t have access to the journal to read it for myself, so I can’t judge how it translates to research in humans.

There are clearly some big problems with the jump from an animal model to humans, for sure, and I’ll be the first to admit that great caution must be taken with animal models.

The fact that it is still an animal study, however, points towards the nascent level of our understanding of these processes, we are just starting to perform these types of observations. As has been noted on this thread, obtaining full copies of papers can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. If you are interested, here is a link to a fully available paper online:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737431/?tool=pubmed

Early-life programming of later-life brain and behavior: a critical role for the immune system (Front Behav Neurosci. 2009; 3: 14. Published online 2009 August 24. Prepublished online 2009 June 15. doi: 10.3389/neuro.08.014.2009)

This paper is by one of the same authors I referenced above. Here is a part of the conclusion:

In summary, there is increasing support for a critical role of CNS immune cells, primarily microglia, and their products such as cytokines, in both health and disease processes within the brain. However, the role of immune factors in homeostatic functions such as synaptic plasticity, and complex behaviors such as cognition, anxiety, and depression remain little understood. We have argued here that the early-life environment of an individual is especially critical in shaping the way that the immune system and hence the brain develop, with significant consequences for brain and behavior throughout the remainder of the lifespan.

The available data indicate a number of common influences of early-life immune activation on later life brain and behavior, namely mechanisms such as cytokine production and glial activation. Thus, while we have been working specifically with a model of bacterial infection in neonatal rats, we believe the results we have reported likely apply more generally to brain-immune interactions. On the other hand, the data also suggest a number of challenge (e.g., LPS vs. E. coli) and gestational time-point specific influences on later outcomes, a further analysis of which will lead to greater understanding of the mechanisms involved. Finally, just as distinct brain regions exhibit markedly different functions and cell populations, immune activity within each region is likely similarly diverse, and should be considered in relation to the microenvironment in which it occurs.

[I would note with no small amusement that when I ask Dangerous Bacon for information regarding spatial location of VPA effects on neuron number, I am accused of ‘changing goalposts’, but if you actually read research written by neuroscientist PhDs, this type of attention to detail is considered critical towards understanding the systems in question.]

This is a neat paper, and it is important to note that it is a review of a great number of other papers on the field of the result of early life immune activation. The authors are cautious about the large amount still left to understand. While the study I posted above is an animal model, I think it is critical that my thought process is not based on a single study, but rather, a growing body of literature.

But what my anecdote was intended to illustrate is that infants’ immune systems have always been challenged, even in very early life. The current vaccine schedule has not changed that fact. To me, that’s the elephant in the middle of your hypothesis.

OK. Your experiences are not unnoted, and in fact, such issues are understood by the researchers undertaking this type of study. From the paper I referenced above:

It should be noted that there remains considerable debate about this topic, as the majority of individuals that suffer from infections early in life do not develop schizophrenia (Bennet and Gunn, 2006). Nonetheless, it is clear that a link is present in at least a subset of individuals, and these combined data from the schizophrenia literature have in large part set the stage for an ‘immune origins of neurodevelopmental disorders hypothesis’ (Meyer et al., 2005), which extends more broadly to a number of cognitive and affective disorders.

My ‘part’ of the hypothesis is that vaccination is be something to be considered within the wider range of this type of study. We all understand that vaccinations trigger an innate immune response, after all. Despite all of the thunder and fury about this area having been studied to death, we’ve applied precious little attention towards the act of vaccination as opposed to specific ingredients, or specific vaccines.

The real world is intruding on a longer response, but I’d be happy to continue in the future if you’d like. I’ve got some other thoughts, but they’d take a while to develop in a well thought out fashion.

– pD

The other unfortunate thing is that we can no longer read what the AutismDiva wrote about Mady Hornig’s “Rain Mice.”

Racael (#258) missed my request for further information (#257) so I’ll repeat it here.
The argument has been that there is some small subgroup of children — let’s call it X — who should not be vaccinated because it puts them at risk of adverse condition Y. But is there any way of identifying members of group X in advance?
If the answer is simply that “any child who is diagnosed with Y after vaccination must have belonged to X”, we are not actually any the wiser.

Sorry, Questioner. As you can see, he was posting it because the liar, blackheart, quoted it but did not reference it.

It is still old and crappy.

@ Sharon Astyk: It is so nice to hear from you and your opinion about tissue donation after death for research.

I have been thinking about this article that was written by Katie Wright, in response to this small study and have come to the conclusion, that it will have little or no impact outside of the echo chamber readership of AoA.

While there is a slight chance that a few parents at AoA understand the value of brain tissue donation for study into the causes of autism, any comments they might submit will never pass “moderation” at AoA. I believe the overwhelming majority of their readership is in lockstep with their “cause” and, I don’t think any of them would ever consider such donations. It would destroy all the theories that are promulgated by this anti-science, anti-vax crowd.

And better, yet! Their publications page has nothing since 2005! I suspect since they claim support from “Cure Autism Now” which merged with Autism Speaks at least four years ago, that group has not done anything new in years.

Hi Dangerous Bacon –

I pointed this out to pD a long time ago with a link to an article about inflammatory cytokine generation resulting from constant, ongoing immune challenge in our bodies (i.e. from antigens traversing our gastrointestinal tracts). I never got a coherent explanation as to why that constant challenge is insignificant in comparison to vaccine antigens, or why vaccines must be focused on in this regard while full-blown disease gets a pass.

I don’t remember my specific response, but I’d bet it was something like this:

There is a difference between baseline cytokine values, which we all experience every single day we are alive, and post vaccination. This is why, for example, when an infant get the DTAP they are expected to get a fever 1/4 of the time.

Now, here’s a question that I’d love to see you provide a ‘coherent’ answer to (for once). Why do you suppose it is that a vaccine is expected to generate a fever one in four times, but the ‘ongoing inflammatory challenge’ in our guts doesn’t produce fevers at anything close to this rate? (or at any detectable rate, at all.)

Do you have any speculation on why this might be the case, if both things are supposedly equal?

Or, I might have gone to the literature to show that when we have bothered to measure cytokine release in some populations (i.e., not infants), they clearly show a significant increase, i.e.:

Effect of influenza vaccine on markers of inflammation and lipid profile (The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine Volume 145, Issue 6 , Pages 323-327, June 2005)

Curiously, even though the placebo group had the same food and ‘antigens’ raging through their digestive track, the authors were able to distinguish vaccine recipients from placebo recipients.

Regarding ‘full blown diseases getting a pass’, all you are doing is providing additional evidence that you don’t read my responses. From this thread, post #156.

But even here, just six posts above I told Calli Arcade that infections during early infancy would have the same functional effect

The idea that I believe natural infections get a pass is something which exists only in your mind.

How this represents an evolved viewpoint remains to be seen.

This is an function of not listening, as opposed to not having been told.

– pD

See, beings of Thingy’s species never breathe or eat or drink, and never have breaks in their skin.

Well, there are things that a normal reasonable human being would not do to himself and to others–that is, to promote infection. You eat, breathe and drink because it’s a physiological need not because you’re promoting infection. Do you have any better idea of promoting infection other than eating, drinking and breathing? And I don’t know why someone would intentionally inflict injury to themselves and other people just to promote infection, do you?

And of course, they believe that only actual disease pathogens cause an immune response and not the millions of other antigens we’re exposed to in our lifetime, most of which we would never know were there if it weren’t for the ham-handed response of the Rube Goldberg contraption we call our immune system.

Well, those millions of antigens we’re exposed to cannot cause diseases unless they are pathogenic. Do you dispute this?

I think passionlessDrone is trying to be smart by “demanding comprehensive research into “the innate immune response in an infant following a two month well visit”,”, really? Here’s a thing: They don’t even check baseline antibody titers prior to any vaccination?

Why don’t you just say you’re an antivaccine. It’s easy.

Oh Th1Th2bot…are you still entertaining offers to manage you? If so, I would like to submit an offer. Do you have a trained technician to manage the Th1Th2bot Service Center? Perhaps I could offer the services of my daughter who is trained as a software release manager. (I know, I know, this is the child who must have been “switched at birth”.)

We may have a need for another “bot” soon…if Dangerous Bacon tires of offering up redundant explanations.

Do you dispute this?

It’s high-larry-ous that Thingy always ends the most moronic of her statements with “Do you dispute this?”

“Disease” is what we call it when our immune system acts up in response to some antigen. Fortunately it’s only to a few of the millions of things we’re exposed to in the course of our life. Yes, you, Thingy, the germophobic germ theory denialist, are exposed to untold numbers of bacteria and viruses every goddamn day. Just about every one of them caused your immune system to become activated and begin producing antibodies. 10 or 12 antigens administered over 18 years cannot “overwhelm” your immune system, as you lunatics keep claiming, because they’re not even a drop in the ocean!

Your “not causing diseases unless they’re pathogenic” is what we call a tautology. Yes, those that cause the immune system to kick up a hissy-fit and cause “disease” are pathogenic. A few of the microorganisms we’re exposed to are so thoroughly naturalized that they cause no problems, at least if they don’t show up in the wrong place—see E. Coli. The vast majority find our bodies such a hostile environment that you might as well throw them in a bucket of Lysol as our bloodstream. Unfortunately, there are a few right in between, and they’re the ones that cause the problem. A few, like tetanus and diphtheria and pertussis, actually do harm on their own. Most only cause problems because of our immune system’s idiotic overreaction.

Now that you know what “disease” is, and that your immune system is constantly working overtime, ginning up antibodies to thousands and millions of different antigens that you’re exposed to every day, maybe you can stop worrying about a handful of very carefully targeted ones. Your mental health will benefit, I promise you.

MD1970:

Read the CDC’s on Autism Spectrum Disorders

So what? It is a general information page, not a scientific document. Which is quite a bit different than outdated anonymous press releases from research labs.

There is a difference.

And I don’t know why someone would intentionally inflict injury to themselves and other people just to promote infection, do you?

Neither anything. So hard on a person is always spoil the target: over time, you’re still a long-held superstitious belief; the mother is not getting their inherent nature, is just wait to effectively communicate pathogenic infectious sources to see.

You’re just fascinated how could still be given any, asking me, and gave always know walk with silly this child and improper and, gums on the blood, brain stem knows that injection, of course. You to the symptoms with clinical assessment and cause harm; take it already, an infection promoters, or maybe he can proceed with clinical assessment?

@ Thingybot: Thanks for your usual extraordinary interpretation of Thingy’s brain droppings.

P.S. My offer still stands for “managing” your bot and your Service Center…just contact Orac, for my e-mail address.

@Chris-
I wouldn’t call the Neuroimmunopathology Lab at John Hopkins any old
research lab or don’t you know the difference?

So what? What are you trying to prove?

Is it relevant? Has it been replicated? Is the research ongoing? Does the lab still exist?

Recently I’ve quoted a Thomson Reuters NPR poll (Sept 2011) that revealed that 31% of parents of children (under age 18) had worries about vaccination while only 18% of those over age 65 were. This suggests a few things to me:
let’s assume that the “worried” groups are each normally distributed running the gamut from mild to severe worry,
and
there is interaction between the groups ( some in the older group have grandchildren and/or are influenced by their adult children- the younger group)-

perhaps our job isn’t as mind-bogglingly huge as we might fear because there are not as many die hards in the general population as there are in anti-vax groups- plus older people may be easier to convince because they are old enough (to remember many of the actual illnesses that are now preventable by vaccines) and who may influence younger people, like their own children, nieces and nephews.

Many people are frightened of being in a plane crash although the risk is extremely minute- although not as rare as a vaccine injury- talking to them about probabilities, addressing their fears sympathetically, *explaining* just *why* air travel *is* so frightening, teaching them to relax, and teaching them about the risk relative to other *daily* risks (car crashes) may help them feel a little better about air travel.

If alt med is fuelled by fear we can present insight into how that mechanism works and is used to manipulate people.

Treg,

Measles virus comes in contact with the mucosa from where it eventually gains entry into the blood and disseminates.

I know of an effective route not requiring mucosal contact: the measles vaccine that causes viremia, primary measles infection and immunosuppression. You see a wild-type measles virus must first overcome the innate immune system before it can cause infection.

Ditto polio…

Of course, who would forget OPV wherein infection and replication in the GIT is a must.

Oh wait! the mumps and rubella viruses also gain entry into the human host by the same route…

The mumps and rubella vaccines would bypass that protective barrier resulting to unrestricted infection.

MALT (mucosa associated lymphoid tissue) is constantly coming in contact with antigens in the food that we ingest… Infact that is where the body comes in contact with gliadin and reacts to it…

So you have to switched to antigens, why? I thought we were discussing pathogens?

The oral and respiratory mucosa are colonized by several bacteria including Staphylococci, Streptococci and Haemophilus… Their antigens are continuously in contact with the MALT…The Gut is colonized by various species of bacteria including E.coli…

So what? Colonization does not mean infection.

Yes, our skin and mucosa protect us from several INFECTIONS but they are also continuously acquainting our immune system with the myriads of antigens which we come in contact with in our environment….

The skin and mucosal surface are there to prevent entry of pathogenic microorganism from causing infection. They don’t need to be “acquianted” because their only purpose is to expel and eliminate foreign and pathogenic microorganisms hence they are non-adaptive a.k.a. innate. But since you’re an infection promoter there is a need for you to breach this innate immunity thus the secondary line of defense, the adaptive immunity, “acquaints” itself from your wrongdoing and tells you not to do it again. It has a memory recall you know.

Nope… We don’t get exposed to any antigens because our skin and mucosa protect us…

How many times are you allowed to move the goalpost?

@Denice-
If alt med is fuelled by fear we can present insight into how that mechanism works and is used to manipulate people.

Vaccine schedule- How horrid it would be to delay or choose an alt schedule!
Fear of Heb B, Tetanus,Diphtheria, Rubella,HPV -need I say more

Of course, who would forget OPV wherein infection and replication in the GIT is a must.

Haha. Oh, of two examples precious rectum.

This article is interesting and it seems like it might be relevant to a discussion of the John Hopkins lab findings.

Expression Profiling of Autism Candidate Genes during Human Brain Development Implicates Central Immune Signaling Pathways

Interestingly, there is also mounting evidence at the cellular and tissue levels that more in depth investigation of an immune component is warranted in ASD [46]. For instance, multiple studies have demonstrated altered cytokine profiles in ASD patients [47], [48], and altered TGF-B concentration in serum and CSF correlates with disease severity [49]. Others have described various autoimmune phenomena including autoantibodies to neural antigens and maternal-fetal cross-reactive neural antibodies [50]. There is also indication of altered innate cellular immunity in ASD, such as differences in gene expression and altered response to immunostimlulatory ligands in both natural killer and monocytic cells from ASD patients [51], [52]. Post-mortem brain tissue from ASD patients shows increased microglial density in grey matter, an activated morphology, and secretion of a cytokine profile consistent with a pro-inflammatory state, most prominent in the cerebellum [53], [54]. Moreover, microglia from MeCP2- null mice—a model of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Rett Syndrome—produce a conditioned media that damages synaptic connectivity via a glutamate-excitotoxicity mechanism [55]. While all of this work provides post-hoc evidence for altered immune response in ASD, our results suggest a direct link between implicated genes in ASD and molecular pathways involved in immune signaling.

This considerable attention to the immune response in previous ASD research has resulted in two prevailing theories: one suggests exogenous factor(s) stimulate neuro-inflammation during development, while the other postulates autoimmune activation causes ASD pathology [56], [57]. However, it is equally possible—as our results support—that the mutations described in ASD result in aberrant signaling regulation of immune cells during neurodevelopment. This could result in cell-autonomous activation and/or improper response to otherwise nominal stimuli, such as occurs in the autoinflammatory syndromes [58]. Alternatively, as glia are increasingly implicated in normal formation of synaptic connectivity [24]—and we have demonstrated a significant proportion of ASD-implicated genes appear to be glial-specific—it is possible that genomic aberrations ultimately funnel through core signaling pathways of glial cells to disrupt formation of neural networks independent of an inflammatory mechanism. In support of this notion, a number of recent reports have demonstrated that these same cytokine signaling pathways are central to proper brain development [59], [60]. Furthermore, signaling through the NFkB pathway has been shown to be important in synaptic plasticity independent of an inflammatory mechanism [61].

Moreover, two of three genome-wide expression studies in Autism brain tissue conclude that the most prominent transcriptome changes are related to neuro-immune disturbances. In the Garbett et al study, the most significant functional pathway implicated was NFκB signaling [31]. The most comprehensive transcriptomics study of ASD post-mortem brain to date (Voineagu et al) concludes that one of two significant co-expression networks is involved in immune function [32]. While our results are only a first step in linking common molecular interaction pathways to the underlying genetic heterogeneity of ASD, they provide integrated genomic evidence, which is supported by these transcriptomics, cell, and tissue level studies that further investigation into cytokine signaling in ASD is needed.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024691

I think it’s time to arrange a Turing Test. Wouldn’t be amusing if Th1Th2bot passed and Th1Th2 itself failed?

From the CDC-Diphtheria
A confirmed case has not been reported in the U.S. since 2003. Approximately 0.001 cases per 100,000 population in the U.S. since 1980; before the introduction of vaccine in the 1920s incidence was 100-200 cases per 100,000 population. Diphtheria remains endemic in developing countries with low vaccination coverage. During the 1990s, the countries of the former Soviet Union reported >150,000 cases in a large epidemic.

From the CDC website- adverse events of the DtaP
Moderate Problems (Uncommon)

* Seizure (jerking or staring) (about 1 child out of 14,000)
* Non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000)
* High fever, 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (about 1 child out of 16,000)

So what? Colonization does not mean infection.

This, coming from “everything is infection” Thingy. I gotta stop reading these comment threads—I’m literally going to die laughing one of these days….

@Denice
Comments in moderation-(Trying short version)
-Incidence of Diphtheria CDC
A confirmed case has not been reported in the U.S. since 2003. Approximately 0.001 cases per 100,000 population in the U.S. since 1980;

DtaP Moderate Problems (Uncommon)CDC
* Seizure (jerking or staring) (about 1 child out of 14,000)
* Non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000)
* High fever, 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (about 1 child out of 16,000)

Of course, who would forget OPV wherein infection and replication in the GIT is a must.

I have to agree that there is a git involved here.

So what? Colonization does not mean infection.

I feel as though we might be at a breakthrough. If only this information could applied to other things…

MD1970:

Vaccine schedule- How horrid it would be to delay or choose an alt schedule! Fear of Heb B, Tetanus,Diphtheria, Rubella,HPV -need I say more

Well, considering you are actually not saying anything: yes, you need to say more.

What about meningitis from haemophilus influenzae type b? Neonatal tetanus? Someone returning overseas and spreading diphtheria?

The MMR is not given until a child is a year old, yet kids under age one have been infected by others (like those in San Diego). And the HPV is not given until age twelve or so… how long did you want this “delay” to be?

Here is what you need to “say more”:

Evidence that any alternative vaccine schedule will actually protect children. You must show that diphtheria will not return like it did to several former Soviet countries after the fall of the USSR. You must show that measles and mumps will not return like they have in Japan, UK, Germany, France, etc. Show that children will not get tetanus from scrapes, scratches, bug bites, etc (there is no herd immunity for tetanus).

And you need to do it with real scientific citations and not undated anonymous press releases.

MD1970:

Fear of Heb B, Tetanus,Diphtheria, Rubella,HPV -need I say more

Yes, you do. You must present the alternative schedule with evidence that children will be protected from those diseases. The evidence must be real scientific citations that include titles, journals, and dates that show your schedule is actually effective. Links to undated anonymous press releases are not sufficient.

Join the club. I also have a comment in moderation.

But a hint: Did you know about the return of diphtheria in the Ukraine, Russia and other former Soviet countries after the demise of the USSR? How about the woman in Australia who died from diphtheria? What about the babies infected with measles from the kid who brought it back as a souvenir from his vacation in Switzerland? Or the kids who died in the last few years from haemophilus influenzae type b because of a vaccine shortage? Or the kids who have been infected by tetanus from bug bites and other scrapes?

I took the test mentioned way up there and scored a 33. Last I knew I wasn’t on any kind of spectrum and never suffered any kind of delay (I was reading before I entered grade school).

I really suspect the biggest reason that vaccines are often chosen as the culprit is our fear of injury and the unknown (we can’t see all the microscopic ingredients), which is even further exacerbated when we are dealing with our young and our natural protectiveness of them.

I have to admit that I am curious if resistance to vaccination is any stronger during economic or political turmoil? Since it is usually government-mandated I have to wonder if public distrust increases with dissatisfaction with or lack of trust in those in power?

I had a comment held up in moderation, as well, and it ended up landing up in the thread @318. It linked to a study that kind of addressed the question about whether the John Hopkins lab research had been replicated. The study doesn’t replicate the John Hopkins work but seems to possibly support it with some related research.

@Chris-
According to the CDC there were 2,044 cases of tetanus from 1972 to 2009.
During the time period 2001-2008 233 cases of tetanus were reported- 26 deaths
90% all over the age of 20- one neo- natal death.

Compare and contrast:

And that exposure is restricted on the skin and mucosal surface by the physical barriers of the innate immune system. Which goes to show that you have no idea of how many infections are being prevented by the non-adaptive mechanism of the innate immune system alone.

I know of an effective route not requiring mucosal contact: the measles vaccine that causes viremia, primary measles infection and immunosuppression.

Flip flop: first she says muscosa protects and so no entry into the host. After I say that it enters via mucosal contact she says but vaccines are an effective route – no refutation of my statement so is it an admission of its valididty of my statement?

Then flip again:

You see a wild-type measles virus must first overcome the innate immune system before it can cause infection.

A statement made with such confidence but yet, horribly wrong! Seriously, you have no idea of how the measles virus causes disease. It enters the mucosal epithelial cells directly on contact by adhering to and then fusing with the epithelial cells. Here it replicates and is laterally transmitted to adjacent cells. It also infects monocytes, T an B cells and NK cells, down regulating their activity producing immunosuppression. It is this immuno-suppression which makes the WT measles virus all the more dangerous as it throws open the doors to other infections. I had mentioned this on a previous thread that the true cost of measles cannot just be judged from mortality and morbidity caused directly by measles because the ‘weakening’ of the immune system that it causes makes the child vulnerable to other infections which also tend to be more severe, if acquired post measles.

Now flop:

Of course, who would forget OPV wherein infection and replication in the GIT is a must.

Now flip:

The mumps and rubella vaccines would bypass that protective barrier resulting to unrestricted infection.

So you can’t make up your mind whether the skin and mucosa are impermeable to pathogens or not. You can’t because you don’t know.
Well, here’s the answer – many pathogens have evolved means to bypass the natural immune barriers. Many have also evolved ways to trick the immune system into not attacking them. That’s precisely why they are such successful pathogens.

So you have to switched to antigens, why? I thought we were discussing pathogens?

Well, you thought wrong. I was talking about antigens all through (pathogens came into the picture because they too are a source of the antigens that we are exposed to):
The part of my post to which you reacted:

a] Vaccines are not the ONLY triggers for immunological mechanisms. Most foreign antigens that we are exposed to stimulate an immunological reaction to it.

my post at 279 in response to your reaction:

I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that on Htrae only antigens present in vaccines were foreign to the human body while antigens on pathogens were actually native to the human body. My bad – I’m not traines in Htrae biology.
Here on earth, we have this funny situation that even the antigens on a pathogen are foreign to the human body and that there are far more of them that the human body is exposed to since birth than the amount contained in all the vaccines put together. Your bad – you are not trained in human biology/medicine/health sciences.

So what? Colonization does not mean infection.

Correct, but, Either ways, there still is antigenic exposure. You don’t have a clue what I am talking about, do you? It is pretty evident that You don’t know what you are talking about.

The skin and mucosal surface are there to prevent entry of pathogenic microorganism from causing infection. They don’t need to be “acquianted”

When did I say that the skin and mucosa need to be acquainted with the antigen? is said

continuously acquainting our immune system

. You do realize (probably not) that the skin and mucosa do not constitute our immune system, do you? They are only immune barriers. The B-cells an T-cells (MALT, which I mentioned above, is basically sub-mucosal congregations of these) do need to be acquainted with the antigen before the immune system can launch a targettted response to it.

skin and mucosal surface…. their only purpose is to expel and eliminate foreign and pathogenic microorganisms

Really? Would you care to elaborate on how they achieve this supposed function?

How many times are you allowed to move the goalpost?

I’m sorry, I forgot that you do not understand sarcasm.

According to the CDC there were 2,044 cases of tetanus from 1972 to 2009.
During the time period 2001-2008 233 cases of tetanus were reported- 26 deaths
90% all over the age of 20- one neo- natal death.

Gee, I wonder why that might be? Do you want me to save you the trouble and give you the rest of the antivax tetanus talking points, or do you need the exercise?

” According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) tetanus vaccine experts, The 1988 to 1991 serosurvey indicated that 20 per cent of children 10 to 16 years of age did not have a protective level of antibody. A 1979 study found that in a sample of 1900 adults over 20 years of age, only 386 per cent were fully immunised. If we extrapolate from that study alone, about 120 million or so citizens (60 per cent of 200 million) were unprotected yet virtually none of them was getting tetanus, let alone dying from it. Walene James, in her book Immunization: the Reality Behind the Myth, points out that in the United States in 1990 there were 25,700 cases of tuberculosis with 1800 deaths, tuberculosis therefore immensely outweighing tetanus as a cause of death. (Mothers of unvaccinated children who might be worried about them contracting tetanus because theyve just joined the pony club, take note!) In the United States, with an average of seven to 10 deaths per year from tetanus, there is a 180 to 260-times greater chance of dying from tuberculosis. In fact, since lightning strikes about 1800 people a year in that country, with an approximate mortality rate of 25 per cent (450 deaths), there is a 45-times greater chance of being killed by lightning than tetanus! “

Well, I’ll give you credit for indirectly hitting the bulk of the drooling points with that bowl of copypasta.

1. A wound that bleeds can not grow tetanus

2. Tetanus vaccine creates no reaction in the body for 3 weeks while tetanus grows within 10 days (but never in a wound that bleeds!)

3. The body can not build immunity to the poisons nor the vaccine

4. Children do not get tetanus. Their circulatory system is designed that way. (Only exception is in Africa where the umbilical stump is covered with mud.)

Manure? Check. Hydrogen peroxide? Check. It does leave out the “you can just get TiG” card, which is often seamlessly invoked by those who assert that the vaccine cannot work because “there’s no such thing as immunity to poisons,” apparently without knowing where TiG comes from.

Should read- In a sample of 1900 adults over 20 years of age, only 38% were fully immunised.

@Narad-
I am not arguing against vaccines. You didn’t bother to read the previous posts. I am arguing for a separate pertussis but that would be too costly for vaccine
manufacturers. The Tetanus could be delayed.
Parents should be able to choose a vaccine schedule they feel comfortable with.

I am not arguing against vaccines.

Then why are you copying and pasting from a barely coherent, error-riddled, and thoroughly obscure antivax babbling from “crunchymomma”? (And make no mistake, playing the tetanus-vax-is-a-sterilization-program card, even indirectly, makes things crystal clear.)

Please do not feed any trolls, including the delusional, uneducated, germ phobic, disease-promoting health-care-professional-wannabe Thingy. I recall a thread here where the Thingy managed to “engage” posters with approximately 500 of it brain-dropping posts about tetanus.

I see that Todd W. at Harpocrates Speaks has released this weeks “Quacktion Figure”…just in time for holiday gifts:

Friday, November 25, 2011
Quacktion Figure™ Friday: Faith Healer
Do you dream of working only one day a week? Have you ever thought how nice it would be to draw crowds of thousands to pack a stadium, all to see you? Ever thought how easy it would be to pay for that private jet, California mansion and the latest Porsche if only you were willing to take advantage of the religious faithful?

Well, now you can. Harpocrates Speaks brings you Faith Healer!

Faith Healer

That’s right. With Faith Healer, you can pack ’em into the nearest stadium and convince them you can actually speak to God. With the easily hidden radio ear piece, your wife can feed you information on attendees gleaned as they entered, wowing them with your miraculous insights into their lives. Call the believers up on stage and use the lever in back for Miracle Faith Healing action! To drain the pockets of those who couldn’t attend your stage act, just sell them your Miracle Money Incense. Your promises to pray for them when they send you back the ashes and $50 will end their money woes. After all, if they have no money, they have nothing to worry about!

Faith Healer stands 5¾” tall and comes with:

* Radio ear piece
* Miracle Money incense
* Wad o’ cash

Wheelchair for “Make ‘Em Walk Again” scam sold separately.

The Fine Print
Figure not actually for sale. Figure and text intended as a work of satire. Image copyright Todd W. and Lil Peck. Quacktion Figure™ is a trademark of Todd W. and Harpocrates Speaks.

Ah, OK, I completely screwed that up. The attribution for the text actually quoted goes to one Jason Sanders, so I retract everything aside from the initial complaint. Sorry about the waste of electrons.

Parents should be able to choose a vaccine schedule they feel comfortable with.

While I am all for choice and free speech, Vaccination isn’t about ordering pizza where you decide the toppings as per your taste.
How can you expect most parents (who may have no idea about the diseases being talked about or their epidemiology) to completely understand what they are opting for or eliminating in the vaccination schedule?
And “what they are comfortable with” – considering all the scare-mongering and and misinformation campaigns by anti-vax loons, there really isn’t anything they are going to be “comfortable with” – for instance, “vaccines contain Potassium – oh the horror!” – given that that is cause for discomfort for many, I don’t see how ‘what is subjectively acceptable’ is ‘objectively’ correct…

MD1970, sorry I missed it. Where was that alternative schedule with the corresponding scientific documentation to support it? How is your application to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coming along?

All I saw was some statements you claim are from the CDC but without a webpage or documentation. And really, what is the risk of seizures from the DTaP compared to diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis? Because I have something like:

Lack of association between acellular pertussis vaccine and seizures in early childhood.
Huang WT, Gargiullo PM, Broder KR, Weintraub ES, Iskander JK, Klein NP, Baggs JM; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team.
Pediatrics. 2010 Aug;126(2):263-9. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

Those are known as a peer reviewed papers. Look at them. I included the titles, some of the authors and the journals, dates and issue information. Ooh, look! They even include the page numbers. Now where did you include such details?

Oh, here is another one!

Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):1134-41. Epub 2010 May 24.
On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.
Smith MJ, Woods CR.

And really, you did not mind that several children got tetanus? Even the two neonatal cases? And you think that would not happen some more if we delayed tetanus vaccination? Dude, that is cold.

Here is what happens when you don’t vaccinate for diphtheria, do tell us how your schedule will prevent the following:

Diphtheria outbreak in Norway: Lessons learned.
Rasmussen I, Wallace S, Mengshoel AT, H Iby EA, Brandtz G P.
Scand J Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;43(11-12):986-9. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Implications of the diphtheria epidemic in the Former Soviet Union for immunization programs.
Galazka A.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S244-8.

Epidemic diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union: implications for diphtheria control in the United States.
Golaz A, Hardy IR, Strebel P, Bisgard KM, Vitek C, Popovic T, Wharton M.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S237-43. Review.

Contraindications to vaccination in the Russian Federation.
Tatochenko V, Mitjushin IL.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S228-31.

Epidemic diphtheria in the Republic of Georgia, 1993-1996: risk factors for fatal outcome among hospitalized patients.
Quick ML, Sutter RW, Kobaidze K, Malakmadze N, Strebel PM, Nakashidze R, Murvanidze S.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S130-7.

Diphtheria epidemic in the Republic of Uzbekistan, 1993-1996.
Niyazmatov BI, Shefer A, Grabowsky M, Vitek CR.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S104-9.

Epidemic diphtheria in the Kyrgyz Republic, 1994-1998.
Glinyenko VM, Abdikarimov ST, Firsova SN, Sagamonjan EA, Kadirova R, Nuorti JP, Strebel PM.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S98-S103.

Diphtheria epidemic in the Republic of Georgia, 1993-1997.
Khetsuriani N, Imnadze P, Dekanosidze N.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S80-5.

Epidemic diphtheria in the 1990s: Azerbaijan.
Vitek CR, Velibekov AS.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S73-9.

Epidemic diphtheria in Ukraine, 1991-1997.
Nekrassova LS, Chudnaya LM, Marievski VF, Oksiuk VG, Gladkaya E, Bortnitska II, Mercer DJ, Kreysler JV, Golaz A.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S35-40.

Diphtheria in the Russian Federation in the 1990s.
Markina SS, Maksimova NM, Vitek CR, Bogatyreva EY, Monisov AA.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S27-34.

Successful control of epidemic diphtheria in the states of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: lessons learned.
Dittmann S, Wharton M, Vitek C, Ciotti M, Galazka A, Guichard S, Hardy I, Kartoglu U, Koyama S, Kreysler J, Martin B, Mercer D, Rønne T, Roure C, Steinglass R, Strebel P, Sutter R, Trostle M.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S10-22. Review.

Control of epidemic diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, 1990-1998.
[No authors listed]
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S1-248. No abstract available.

Note: All but the first one are in the same issue of one journal, and I did not include all of the papers. They are also mostly available without going through a pay wall. So your job, MD1970, is to present a vaccine schedule that avoids what happened there, with supporting documentation.

Come on! If you are going to be so much smarter than the folks on the ACIP, then show it! Produce some evidence that you know what you are writing about. Or just admit that you don’t care if some kids get very sick just because you are scared of needles.

Narad…no need to apologize. This particular copy pasta is quoted and re-quoted by alt/cam practitioners on the internet.

I located this MD1970’s exact posting at the Pure Sante website in an article that appeared last year, “Dispelling the Fears About Tetanus”.

It’s considered “good form” to credit the article that you rip off in its entirety or when you plagiarize bits and pieces…instead of posting it as your own.

MD1970, sorry I missed it. Where was that alternative schedule with the corresponding scientific documentation to support it? How is your application to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coming along?

All I saw was some statements you claim are from the CDC but without a webpage or documentation. And really, what is the risk of seizures from the DTaP compared to diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis? Because I have something like:

Lack of association between acellular pertussis vaccine and seizures in early childhood.
Huang WT, Gargiullo PM, Broder KR, Weintraub ES, Iskander JK, Klein NP, Baggs JM; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team.
Pediatrics. 2010 Aug;126(2):263-9. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

Those are known as a peer reviewed papers. Look at them. I included the titles, some of the authors and the journals, dates and issue information. Ooh, look! They even include the page numbers. Now where did you include such details?

Oh, here is another one!

Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):1134-41. Epub 2010 May 24.
On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.
Smith MJ, Woods CR.

And really, you did not mind that several children got tetanus? Even the two neonatal cases? And you think that would not happen some more if we delayed tetanus vaccination? Dude, that is cold.

Here is what happens when you don’t vaccinate for diphtheria, do tell us how your schedule will prevent the following:

Diphtheria outbreak in Norway: Lessons learned.
Rasmussen I, Wallace S, Mengshoel AT, H Iby EA, Brandtz G P.
Scand J Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;43(11-12):986-9. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Implications of the diphtheria epidemic in the Former Soviet Union for immunization programs.
Galazka A.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S244-8.

Epidemic diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union: implications for diphtheria control in the United States.
Golaz A, Hardy IR, Strebel P, Bisgard KM, Vitek C, Popovic T, Wharton M.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S237-43. Review.

Contraindications to vaccination in the Russian Federation.
Tatochenko V, Mitjushin IL.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S228-31.

Epidemic diphtheria in the Republic of Georgia, 1993-1996: risk factors for fatal outcome among hospitalized patients.
Quick ML, Sutter RW, Kobaidze K, Malakmadze N, Strebel PM, Nakashidze R, Murvanidze S.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S130-7.

Diphtheria epidemic in the Republic of Uzbekistan, 1993-1996.
Niyazmatov BI, Shefer A, Grabowsky M, Vitek CR.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S104-9.

Epidemic diphtheria in the Kyrgyz Republic, 1994-1998.
Glinyenko VM, Abdikarimov ST, Firsova SN, Sagamonjan EA, Kadirova R, Nuorti JP, Strebel PM.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S98-S103.

Diphtheria epidemic in the Republic of Georgia, 1993-1997.
Khetsuriani N, Imnadze P, Dekanosidze N.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S80-5.

Epidemic diphtheria in the 1990s: Azerbaijan.
Vitek CR, Velibekov AS.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S73-9.

Epidemic diphtheria in Ukraine, 1991-1997.
Nekrassova LS, Chudnaya LM, Marievski VF, Oksiuk VG, Gladkaya E, Bortnitska II, Mercer DJ, Kreysler JV, Golaz A.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S35-40.

Diphtheria in the Russian Federation in the 1990s.
Markina SS, Maksimova NM, Vitek CR, Bogatyreva EY, Monisov AA.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S27-34.

Successful control of epidemic diphtheria in the states of the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: lessons learned.
Dittmann S, Wharton M, Vitek C, Ciotti M, Galazka A, Guichard S, Hardy I, Kartoglu U, Koyama S, Kreysler J, Martin B, Mercer D, Rønne T, Roure C, Steinglass R, Strebel P, Sutter R, Trostle M.
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S10-22. Review.

Control of epidemic diphtheria in the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, 1990-1998.
[No authors listed]
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181 Suppl 1:S1-248. No abstract available.

Note: All but the first one are in the same issue of one journal, and I did not include all of the papers. They are also mostly available without going through a pay wall. So your job, MD1970, is to present a vaccine schedule that avoids what happened there, with supporting documentation.

Come on! If you are going to be so much smarter than the folks on the ACIP, then show it! Produce some evidence that you know what you are writing about. Or just admit that you don’t care if some kids get very sick just because you are scared of needles.

Sorry for the double post. I had no idea the first went through since the wifi router had crashed.

lilady

“using this information to draw inferences about whether particular vaccines are indicated or whether caution is advised with use of live or inactivated vaccines is more complicated and might require consultation with an infectious disease or immunology specialist.”

Compared with … Blackheart UC Davis

“Practically, if your child has clinical indications of an immune system abnormality, such as unusual or difficult to treat infections, or your family has a long and extensive history of immunological problems, we recommend that you consult with your physicians about the safest options for immunizing your children.”

Actually it would have been easier to read the vaccine insert … but hey.

Denice

I find myself with some time on hand from my rather busy schedule so I thought I’d answer the various errors made in your post.

it’s the vaccines, isn’t it?

No … #135 @ http://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/09/the_fixed_mindset_of_the_anti-vaccine_activist.php

But let us continue … for the point of discussion.

“anti-vaccination has had a long history having been around since Jenner”

So what you call anti vaccination some call medical safety. If I showed problems with anti-psychotic medications I would be … anti-drug ?

window dressing for the central issue, i.e. a belief that vaccines are dangerous and cause harm that includes autism.

This has been already adequately covered here –

“One of the most important findings was that a new measles vaccine used in low-income countries was associated with a two-fold increase in mortality among girls. This discovery led to the withdrawal of the vaccine. Had it not been withdrawn, it could have cost at least ½ million additional female deaths per year in Africa alone.”

Peter Aaby Bandim Health Project

This belief has been around and does not stand up to research: I am not saying that no problems *ever* arose from vaccines *but* that injury from the relevant illness is orders of magnitude higher than the possibility of any vaccine injury.

500,000 is not an acceptable figure in anyone’s response to children’s safety.

There is no research that shows an association of vaccines with autism.

Science rolls on forward we didn’t know there were clear autism phenotypes until 2011.

http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/research/app/

Nor have we been able to elucidate the very large evidence of immune system dysfunction in autism or if it has a biological relationship to vaccination that have clear immunostimulatory effects.

67 odd studies on immune system dysfunction and related research starting at Post #571

http://respectfulinsolence.com/2011/09/the_fixed_mindset_of_the_anti-vaccine_activist.php

“Immune responses of human newborns and infants are distinct and cannot be predicted from those of human adults or animal models.”

Nor the rate of regression in autism Hornig 88%

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140#pone.0003140-Luyster1

Nor the implications surrounding gene expression.

“Gene ontology enrichment of the 32 highly expressed Autism genes revealed four new GO categories representing two significant processes—immune system regulation and apoptosis

GO: 0002682 Regulation of Immune System Process

GO: 0006915 Apoptosis (cell death)

GO: 0012501 Programmed cell death

GO: 0031347 Regulation of defense response – (Any process that modulates the frequency, rate or extent of a defense response.)

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024691

People like myself just say the science is far from complete in either vaccine negative effects or neurological damage.

People who have a strong vested interest in preserving this belief and proselytising about it may either be entrenched for psychological reasons ( despair about a child with autism, strong allegiance to the natural health movement or leader )

Sorry no vested interest, no despair , no strong allegiance, no psychology … just a good healthy scepticism of ‘skeptiks’.

financial ones ( marketting new “cures” or “safer” vaccines- *a la* AJW,or supplements, such as companies advertising at AoA or by general alt med merchants, or selling *themselves*).

Not here.

less children will be vaccinated and the formerly “covered” illness will spread as they did in the not-so-recent past.

I’m not following the logic of your position or the evidence to support such a claim.

that concern the fear of injection/ ingestion of foreign materials- the anti-vax movement utilises that fear as its foundation rather than speaking rationally to it. This manipulation has made quite a few people wealthy.

There’s an interesting hypothesis (pop psych) as they say around these parts …Citation.

Well, Blackie, I hope you will start considering why we feel so strongly about this

I have and I find you … interesting. (my own pop psych)

we don’t want to see anyone suffer needlessly if there is easily acquired *help*.

Then you probably shouldn’t have subjected people to your post. I’ve been made to suffer needlessly.

But as I said I’ve got a bit of time on my hands so it’s no biggie.